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April 2, 2021

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BCI claims hasty and groundless

Shortly after the Swiss-based Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) launched its so-called Xinjiang cotton boycott, the group’s Shanghai representative office confirmed last weekend it has never found a single case related to “forced labor” in China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Though the BCI claims to be “not-for-profit” and “the largest cotton sustainability programme,” a close look at its behavior would find that it is anything but professional, independent and transparent.

Firstly, the BCI has proven itself a part of the western smear campaign against China.

When some institutions in the United States and Australia fabricated inaccurate reports on Xinjiang last year, the BCI, without any field investigation, immediately suspended its assurance activities in Xinjiang and wrongfully cited concerns about so-called increasing risks of forced labor in Xinjiang.

Mechanized harvests

In fact, the baseless accusation intentionally ignores the fact that cotton production in Xinjiang has already achieved a high degree of mechanization.

After its team in China refuted findings of any incident related to forced labor in Xinjiang, one would expect that since its own branch had a first-hand on-site investigation, the BCI headquarters should have responded promptly by correcting its previous wrongdoings.

Secondly, though the BCI bills itself as a non-profit, independent organization, one of its major funding partners is the US Agency for International Development, which admits that its work “advances US national security and economic prosperity.”

Lastly, the BCI has serious problems with transparency. Xinhua correspondents were recently refused an interview at BCI’s headquarters in Geneva.

To the reporters’ surprise, its headquarters has just a few rented offices and a few researchers. In the past year, the BCI repeatedly issued false statements on the issue related to cotton production in Xinjiang without presenting any reliable evidence.

By selling a contemptible lie to the world, the BCI is risking its own credibility.




 

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