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Twelve major Japanese companies are ceasing business deals with Chinese companies found to benefit from forced labor by the Muslim Uighur minority in China’s far-western Xinjiang region, a Kyodo News investigation has shown.

Pressure has been mounting on Japanese firms to take action over such human rights abuses in the supply chain after the strong stance on the Xinjiang issue taken by U.S. President Joe Biden.

Biden is filling out his China policy team with staff whose past writing and speeches align with the tough tone toward Beijing that emerged under his predecessor, Donald Trump.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is seen on a TV monitor in China's Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. | AP / VIA KYODO
Chinese President Xi Jinping is seen on a TV monitor in China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. | AP / VIA KYODO

Still, China is pressuring the Biden administration to take steps to “build up goodwill,” including removing tariffs and sanctions, as Beijing continues to deploy all its tools — such as information warfare — to secure its interests.

And there has been some successes for Beijing, including the recent meeting of leaders from the Group of Seven industrialized nations, which tiptoed around the issue of China during their first gathering, a virtual one, of 2021.

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