Berlin rejects investment guarantees due to human rights situation in China
Business Volkswagen is affected according to the report

Federal government rejects investment guarantees due to human rights situation in China

A camp in Xinjiang province where Uyghurs are said to have been detained

A camp in Xinjiang province where Uyghurs are said to have been detained

Source: AP / Mark Schiefelbein

The Federal Ministry of Economy is responding to documented human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang Province. Investment guarantees for a company were rejected for the first time. According to a media report, the carmaker should be Volkswagen.

DrFor the first time, the German government rejected investment guarantees for a company due to the human rights situation in China’s Xinjiang Province. A total of four requests to extend the guarantees have been affected, the Federal Ministry of Economy announced on Friday. The name of the company is not mentioned. to me “Spiegel“Based on that, it’s likely a Volkswagen.

The ministry noted the human rights situation in Xinjiang. This has intensified in recent years and is “characterized by forced labor and mass internment of members of the Uyghur minority”. So the federal government no longer provides investment guarantees for some projects in China. This applies to projects in Xinjiang itself or projects with commercial relations there. According to the ministry, the applications that have now been denied relate to a commercial site in Xinjiang or cannot be excluded.

A Volkswagen spokesperson only confirmed that the group had applied for the investment guarantees. So far we have not received any response to our requests from the federal government. “We are waiting for a decision,” he added. Rejection is also possible. The company’s departments said that the investment decision will not be affected by the rejection.

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Investment guarantees from the federal government boost foreign trade. They protect the investments of German companies, for example in emerging countries such as China, and then come into effect when the companies are expropriated or when the state breaches its binding obligations. According to the Economy Ministry, the assumed new investment guarantees amounted to 2.6 billion euros last year.

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Since the new federal government took office, 13 applications to take over or extend investment guarantees in China have been approved. They have nothing to do with Xinjiang.

The Chinese leadership has been criticized for years for its treatment of the Muslim Uyghur minority in the region. According to researchers and human rights activists, more than a million people have been sent to re-education camps there. Economy Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) said this week that the People’s Republic of China is a major trading partner, but there are also “closely related problems” with human rights.

The government in Beijing justifies its actions against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang with allegations of separatism, extremism and terrorism. The Muslim minority feels oppressed politically, religiously and culturally. The parliaments of Canada, the Netherlands and Britain condemned the persecution as genocide.

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