Nov 12, 2020

China Muslims: Volkswagen says 'no forced labour' at Xinjiang plant

In an interview with the BBC in Beijing, the company's CEO in China, Stephan Wollenstein, defended Volkswagen's presence in Xinjiang's capital, Urumqi, where it runs a factory with 600 workers, producing up to 20,000 vehicles a year. While China insists it has been providing de-extremification training for Xinjiang's traditionally Muslim minorities, and running large-scale job creation schemes, the real aim appears to be the forced assimilation of identities and cultures now viewed by the state as inherently disloyal. With the number of cars being produced currently less than 10% of capacity of some of the company's 32 other plants in China, Dr Wollenstein said they would "Love to do more." Dr Wollenstein told the BBC that only two cars were provided to the unit - on behalf of Volkswagen's Chinese partner in the Xinjiang plant, Saic Motor Corporation Ltd - and he was not aware of any such training taking place at the factory. "And as much as we are to a certain extent dependent on China, probably China is also dependent on us."

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