Federal government withdraws investment guarantee from German company in Xinjiang

aIn light of human rights abuses against China’s Uyghur minority, Federal Economy Minister Robert Habeck (the Greens) wants to give human rights more weight in future trade policy. A company also operating in the Uyghur province wanted to extend investment guarantees. We will not accept that, Habeck told Welt am Sonntag. In his words, this is the “first time” that investment guarantees have “failed” on human rights grounds.

Of course, requests for guarantees will continue to be processed on a case-by-case basis, Habek said. “But the guiding principle is: In light of forced labor and mistreatment of Uyghurs, we cannot secure any projects in Xinjiang.” According to Spiegel information, the company in question is the Volkswagen Group. A ministry spokeswoman quoted the news magazine as saying that a total of “four requests from a company to extend investment guarantees” had not been accepted.

Volkswagen is waiting for the decision

So Volkswagen confirmed the corresponding requests for investment guarantees. However, the group has yet to receive a response from the federal government. “We expect a decision,” a Volkswagen spokesman said. Of course, rejection is also possible.

Volkswagen has been criticized for its business in China mainly due to its activities in Xinjiang. According to Spiegel information, Volkswagen does not want to invest in the controversial plant there, but in other factories in China. But the ministry refuses to approve the new project. The ministry said, according to “Spiegel”, that the requests are linked to a commercial site in Xinjiang, at least the connection cannot be ruled out.


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