China: Volkswagen defends presence in Urumqi amid concerns on abuses of ethnic minorities

Author: David Ehl, DW, Published on: 26 November 2019

“Volkswagen defends presence in China's Xinjiang amid uproar over Uighur abuses”, 26 November 2019

VW is under pressure for working with the Chinese government in Xinjiang after evidence of human rights abuses against Uighurs in the region…

As international outrage over human rights abuses in Xinjiang province grows, German carmaker Volkswagen (VW) has vehemently defended its presence in the region, where it operates a production facility in Urumqi.

Speaking with DW… the company said its 2012 decision to open the Urumqi facility was "based purely on economics." VW says it expects "further economic growth in the region over the coming years."

The statement came in the wake of a data leak confirming the mass surveillance and incarceration of ethnic Uighurs and other minority Muslim groups by the Chinese government.

Volkswagen addressed working conditions at the Urumqi facility, which is operated by a joint venture with the Chinese company SAIC, noting, "We do not assume any of our employees are forced laborers."…

In an exclusive interview with DW in Berlin, visiting United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: "It is absolutely essential that human rights are respected. It is absolutely essential to have policies that allow for minorities to feel that their identity is respected." …

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Related companies: Volkswagen