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Trade ministers from the Group of Seven industrialized nations agreed Friday to eliminate forced labor and shared their concern over such state-sponsored practice on minorities, in a veiled criticism of China's treatment of Muslim Uyghurs in the far-western Xinjiang region.

"We affirm that there is no place for forced labor in the rules-based multilateral trading system," the ministers said in a joint statement following their virtual meeting hosted by Britain, expressing their concern over "state-sponsored forced labor of vulnerable groups and minorities."

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