Large Western Corporations Abetting China’s Human Rights Violations: Sen. Leo Housakos

Large western corporations that are making money in China are contributing to democratic governments’ neglect of the communist regime’s continued human rights violations, Sen. Leo Housakos said on June 6.Housakos called on the Liberal government to ban imports of goods made with forced labour by Uyghur Muslims in China’s northwestern province of Xinjiang. He was joined at a press conference by Conservative MP Garnett Genuis, U.S. professional basketball star and human rights defender Enes Kanter Freedom, and Sarah Teich, senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute. Housakos was asked why the world acted quickly to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, yet allows communist China to infringe on the rights of ethnic and religious minorities, trample on Hong Kong’s democratic system, threaten the self-ruled island of Taiwan, and violate international laws. “I think the bottom line is we have some large, powerful corporations in the western democratic world that are making a lot of money in China, and those corporations have an extraordinary amount of influence on our governments, right across the G-7,” Housakos said, noting that these corporations continue to “aid and abet China’s genocidal regime.” “It’s a sad reality, but that’s what it is. And that’s the discrepancy between why [Western governments] take certain actions, because obviously Russia doesn’t have [foreign investments].” “When countries like China have unfettered access to our large, middle-class, powerful market, they have to align themselves in human rights and democracy where we are, and rule of law. And if they don’t, they shouldn’t have access.” He pointed to a U.S. law that is set to enter into effect later this month that will protect its markets from the inflows of products from Xinjiang possibly tainted with forced labour and human rights abuses, as an example of what Canada can do. He said Canada also needs legislation like his Bill S-204, which he said is unequivocal in banning products from Xinjinag. “The onus shouldn’t be on CBSA [Canada Border Services Agency] to figure out is there one container out of 50 that is legitimate,” Housakos said. “The message should be unequivocal there: interact together, align yourself with what is important for us or you don’t have access to [our markets].” Responding to the same question, Genuis said world leaders view the two cases differently in that China violates its own laws as well as international obligations, whereas Russia transgressed an international boundary. Nevertheless, the leaders of both countries should be held accountable for the violations of human rights and international laws, he said. “Obviously, China is a larger player economically and in terms of its integration within the global system, but I think it’s a clear principle of international human rights that we not let anybody get away with the kind of behaviours that we’re seeing,” he said. Genuis pointed to Senate Bill S-211, which aims to create a reporting mechanism that allows the public to hold companies accountable if they are complicit in the use of forced labour in the manufacture of goods. The bill passed second reading in the House of Commons on June 1. He also noted that another bill that is on the way to being passed addresses the issue of China’s organ harvesting, which the Uyghurs and other minority groups, like the adherents of the spiritual practice Falun Gong, are being subjected to. NBA free agent Freedom has in the past several years called out some of his NBA colleagues and major international corporations on the issue of China. He was left without a team in the NBA after being traded by the Boston Celtics and then released by the Houston Rockets, which he has attributed to his outspokenness against the Chinese Communist Party. “There are so many human rights violations that are happening over there in China, and many countries call it, and I agree to [call it], genocide,” Freedom said. “So we have to call it like it is and we have to do whatever we can to help those innocent people over there.” Follow Andrew Chen is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.

Large Western Corporations Abetting China’s Human Rights Violations: Sen. Leo Housakos

Large western corporations that are making money in China are contributing to democratic governments’ neglect of the communist regime’s continued human rights violations, Sen. Leo Housakos said on June 6.

Housakos called on the Liberal government to ban imports of goods made with forced labour by Uyghur Muslims in China’s northwestern province of Xinjiang. He was joined at a press conference by Conservative MP Garnett Genuis, U.S. professional basketball star and human rights defender Enes Kanter Freedom, and Sarah Teich, senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute.

Housakos was asked why the world acted quickly to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, yet allows communist China to infringe on the rights of ethnic and religious minorities, trample on Hong Kong’s democratic system, threaten the self-ruled island of Taiwan, and violate international laws.

“I think the bottom line is we have some large, powerful corporations in the western democratic world that are making a lot of money in China, and those corporations have an extraordinary amount of influence on our governments, right across the G-7,” Housakos said, noting that these corporations continue to “aid and abet China’s genocidal regime.”

“It’s a sad reality, but that’s what it is. And that’s the discrepancy between why [Western governments] take certain actions, because obviously Russia doesn’t have [foreign investments].”

“When countries like China have unfettered access to our large, middle-class, powerful market, they have to align themselves in human rights and democracy where we are, and rule of law. And if they don’t, they shouldn’t have access.”

He pointed to a U.S. law that is set to enter into effect later this month that will protect its markets from the inflows of products from Xinjiang possibly tainted with forced labour and human rights abuses, as an example of what Canada can do. He said Canada also needs legislation like his Bill S-204, which he said is unequivocal in banning products from Xinjinag.

“The onus shouldn’t be on CBSA [Canada Border Services Agency] to figure out is there one container out of 50 that is legitimate,” Housakos said. “The message should be unequivocal there: interact together, align yourself with what is important for us or you don’t have access to [our markets].”

Responding to the same question, Genuis said world leaders view the two cases differently in that China violates its own laws as well as international obligations, whereas Russia transgressed an international boundary. Nevertheless, the leaders of both countries should be held accountable for the violations of human rights and international laws, he said.

“Obviously, China is a larger player economically and in terms of its integration within the global system, but I think it’s a clear principle of international human rights that we not let anybody get away with the kind of behaviours that we’re seeing,” he said.

Genuis pointed to Senate Bill S-211, which aims to create a reporting mechanism that allows the public to hold companies accountable if they are complicit in the use of forced labour in the manufacture of goods. The bill passed second reading in the House of Commons on June 1.

He also noted that another bill that is on the way to being passed addresses the issue of China’s organ harvesting, which the Uyghurs and other minority groups, like the adherents of the spiritual practice Falun Gong, are being subjected to.

NBA free agent Freedom has in the past several years called out some of his NBA colleagues and major international corporations on the issue of China.

He was left without a team in the NBA after being traded by the Boston Celtics and then released by the Houston Rockets, which he has attributed to his outspokenness against the Chinese Communist Party.

“There are so many human rights violations that are happening over there in China, and many countries call it, and I agree to [call it], genocide,” Freedom said. “So we have to call it like it is and we have to do whatever we can to help those innocent people over there.”


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Andrew Chen is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.