German politicians urge Volkswagen to exit Xinjiang

In response to the chemical company’s decision to withdraw from Xinjiang, German politicians from various parties have called on Volkswagen to follow suit. Renata Alt, Chairwoman of the Bundestag’s Human Rights Committee, urged VW to make Xinjiang a “no-go” as a location for economic activities for Western companies. She emphasized the importance of not making compromises when it comes to human rights.

BASF’s decision to divest itself of shares in joint ventures in Xinjiang has been welcomed by these politicians, who see it as a step towards holding companies accountable for their actions in the region. Green MEP Reinhard B├╝tikofer stated that the pressure on VW will increase and that there is an ethical red line for the business ability of companies. He asserted that “complicity with the forced labor regime in Xinjiang” lies behind this red line.

The Federal Government Commissioner for Freedom of Religion and Belief, Frank Schwabe, demanded that all German companies immediately halt any further business operations in Xinjiang. He asserted that the human rights situation in Xinjiang is catastrophic and confusing, and German companies should not operate there.

The BASF Group announced that it would be selling shares in two joint ventures in Korla, China, in the center of the Xinjiang region, due to reports of possible human rights violations. Volkswagen operates a plant in Xinjiang in a joint venture with the Chinese manufacturer Saic, and their decision to continue operating in Xinjiang has been met with scrutiny. Despite issuing a commission to examine the working conditions at the plant in Xinjiang, VW insists that it takes its responsibility as a company in the area of human rights very seriously worldwide, including in China. The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights are adhered to closely by the company.

By Editor

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