Volkswagen Defends Operations in Xinjiang Despite Chinese Human Rights Abuses

Volkswagen Chief Executive Officer Herbert Diess said on Monday that Volkswagen would continue operations in Xinjiang despite reports of human rights violations.

In an interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt, Diess said Volkswagen would not stop its operation in China even if the ‘small factory’ there was economically “insignificant.”

“We could do that. But we won’t because we believe that our presence has a positive impact,” Diess said.

Earlier, the “Xinjiang Police Files” was released, which documented the scale and brutality of the Chinese state in oppressing the Uyghur people, and prompted the German government ministers to call for a reduction of its dependence on China, which is one of its largest trading partners.

“Of course, we disapprove of what’s happening [in China]. If we had evidence of wrongdoing at our facility there, we would take drastic action against it,” Diess told Handelsblatt.

For years, China has been accused of committing crimes against humanity and possibly genocide by sentencing hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs to prison terms and detaining more than one million against their will into internment camps, which China described as vocational training facilities, to learn Mandarin and adopt a secular, pro-Communist Party.

Meanwhile, German media also reported that Brazil’s public prosecutors have launched an investigation against Volkswagen over accusations of human rights violations committed by the company during the dictatorship in the 70s and 80s.

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