China: Xinjiang viscose producers linked to US-sanctioned entities, records show
"Beyond cotton, another thread in Xinjiang supply chain creates new snag for global textile firms", 28 March 2021
[...] The thread that binds them all is a soft, silky fibre called viscose. Made from wood pulp, viscose, or rayon, is the world’s third most commonly used clothing material after polyester and cotton.
Its highly chemical production process can be extremely hazardous to workers, but viscose could become even more politically toxic given the location of one of the fibre’s primary production bases. [...]
“Xinjiang has a relatively short history of making viscose,” the manager of a viscose yarn factory in Xinjiang said. “But it has improved greatly over the past few years. The quality has got a lot better.”
Chinese records show how the viscose supply chain in Xinjiang is intrinsically linked to entities already sanctioned by the United States for alleged ties to forced labour.
The factories used to make viscose fibre in Xinjiang are located within miles of suspected detention camps, according to satellite images seen by the South China Morning Post.
They were matched against open-source research compiled from official government documents, statistics and academic studies by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), a think tank that receives funding from the Australian and American governments. [...]