Germany refuses to support some Volkswagen investments in China

This is the first time the country has taken such a decision. VW opened a factory in 2013 in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang province, where Chinese authorities have been accused of cracking down on the Muslim minority.

Economy Minister Robert Hebeck said on Friday that the German government had for the first time refused to support investment in China due to the human rights situation in the northwestern province of Xinjiang.

“A company operating in Uyghur province wants to extend the (public) investment guarantee” and “we have not verified it,” the environment minister explained to the newspaper. Die Weld.

“This is the first time that investment guarantees have not been fulfilled for human rights reasons,” he added.

German state guarantee

Without these guarantees, only one company will bear the full financial risk of a project abroad.

Neither Mr. Hebeck nor his ministry have described which company was denied support.

Citing unidentified sources, the press Der Spiegel However, it claims to be Volkswagen.

The world’s second-largest automaker opened a factory in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang province, in 2013, where Chinese authorities accused the government of repressing the Muslim minority, especially the Uyghurs.

Western studies accuse Beijing of keeping more than a million Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic members in “re-education camps” and imposing “forced labor” or “forced contraception.” The United States is inciting a “genocide.”

China condemns biased statements and talks about “vocational training centers” aimed at eradicating terrorism.

China controversy

Der Spiegel Indicates that investments were made for “other factories” of the manufacturer in the country than Xinjiang, but “a merger cannot be excluded”.

“We cannot guarantee projects in the region because of the forced labor and mistreatment of the Uyghurs,” he said, opening the door to sanctions against Chinese authorities. Hebeck described.

He said such actions would be “thoughtful” if those responsible could be identified and their actions proven.

In a recent interview with CBS, Volkswagen boss Herbert Dice said there was “no forced labor” in the factory. “We want to open the factory because” I think it would be good for the locals if we stayed, “he said.

This decision will have no effect on Volkswagen’s investment plans in the country, Der Spiegel writes, citing a source within the group.

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