Opinion | The world's largest trafficking power under the pretended human rights beacon?
By Edward Hei Leung, LegCo Member
US Department of State has ranked China as Tier 3, the lowest grade, in the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report. Tier 3 not only slanders countries unable to improve human rights, but also allows the US to impose sanctions and penalties. In other words, TIP report is nothing more than a malicious tool for future political manipulations.
According to the 634-page document, China remains its Tier 3 position again, largely due to the so-called arbitrary detention and forced labor issue in Xinjiang and the Belt and Road initiatives. Apparently, the annual paper is full of US geopolitical calculations.
Ironic though TIP report sounds, the US continues its contemptible forced labor lies in Xinjiang. In fact, Uyghur population increased from 2.2 million to about 12 million over the past 60-plus years. Meanwhile, the regional GDP grew 3.4% in 2020, and the mechanization rate of cotton harvesting approach 90% as well. If cultural genocides and abuses truly happened, why did Xinjiang's population increase, accompanied with robust GDP growth?
At the same time, TIP paper defames One Belt, One Road in echo with G7's latest promotion of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII). US Department of State calls the forced labor as hidden cost in Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). As a seemingly gentle reminder, the report reminds host countries to scrutinize recruitment procedures to avoid labor exploitation.
Needless to say, the forced labor is a pseudo-concept. BRI incorporates projects requiring long-term input and hard work, in which western counterparts seldom invest. Chinese enterprises build roads, bridges, rails and ports, to name but a few. The tangible results successfully deepen economic relations with our counterparts. More importantly, unlike the US, Chinese government is not interested in internal affairs of other countries. That is to say, TIP descriptions on China are full of baseless slanders.
In response to the hypocritical report, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin criticized the US as the world's largest human trafficking power, with almost one-third of its country's history that legally allows slavery system. Starting from 1514 to 1866, there were at least 360,000 slave trafficking expedition teams in total.
Worse still, human trafficking remains unanswered in the US. 24 people, for instance, were suspected of smuggling hundreds of Mexicans and Central Americans to work in US onion farms. The illegal workers were paid only 20 cents for each bucket of onions, while working in brutal conditions. It is not an individual case. By estimation, around 100,000 forced labors are trafficked to work in the US every year.
When Biden administration get addicted to its human rights beacon, at least 50 people died inside a tractor-trailer in late June. It manifested the long-lasting human trafficking problem in the US, particularly nearby Mexico border. In spite of the heartbreaking incident, the US evaluates itself as Tier 1 country in TIP report.
TIP report reviews US hegemony in terms of blatant interferences into others' internal affairs. Under no circumstances should the US release documents full of groundless hostility and political calculations. As a responsible power at the globe, the country should work out solutions to improve its human rights conditions.
The views do not necessarily reflect those of DotDotNews.
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