In China, genocide is in fashion.
China’s official uniform supplier for the 2022 Winter Olympics makes its materials with cotton harvested by Xinjiang slave labor.
Some people are referring to this as “blood cotton” because China is committing genocide against the Uyghur population in the Xinjiang region.
China is making its uniforms with blood cotton, and during the 2022 Winter Olympics, every Chinese athlete will be wearing the products of genocide.
Anta, the company making the uniforms, has no plans of changing its use of Xinjiang cotton and has rebuffed international scrutiny of slave labor in the Xinjiang cotton industry.
The Chinese Communist Party denies any and all allegations of human rights violations there, never mind the ongoing genocide.
China is hoping that this one will go away. Instead, they are going to flaunt uniforms .on the international stage that are made with “blood cotton” and were woven by someone who was likely a victim of genocide, imprisonment, or radical oppression.
Corrupt American companies like Apple, Nike, and Coca-Cola claim to be “unaware” of the slave labor and genocide going into their Chinese-made products. Supply chains in China are opaque and the secrecy about slave labor factories is difficult to probe.
After the Chinese Communist Party cracked down and subdued Tibet, they turned to the far western region of Xinjiang where the Chinese government has embarked on a campaign of genocide against the majority Uyghur population there to erase them from the land.
The Chinese Communist Party has put over 1 million Uyghurs into concentration camps. What happened to “never again?”
Among the tactics the Chinese Communist Party has used to assault the Uyghur people are public execution, forced sterilization, re-education camps, and slave labor factories.
The majority of China’s cotton comes from Xinjiang, meaning that any clothing made in China is likely tainted by “blood cotton.”
In 2019, International Olympics Committee (IOC) announced that Anta would become the first Chinese company to supply sportswear for the supply uniforms, shoes, and accessories for the Tokyo Olympics, the Beijing Olympics, and several other events.
That same month, Anta announced it was joining the Better Cotton Initiative, an international cotton watchdog nonprofit that has operations in Xinjiang.
Anta is the first Chinese company to join the Better Cotton Initiative — and it’s because China has a lot to hide.
In 2020, the Better Cotton Initiative announced that it would no longer operate in Xinjiang because of interference with the Chinese Communist Party. Anta withdrew from the organization.
The Chinese Communist Party keeps its impoverished hundreds of millions of citizens in line by whipping them up into a frenzy against perceived foreign threats and appeals to nationalistic fervor. They have schooled their masses into a blind adherence to the party line against admitting the genocide in Xinjiang.
The Chinese Communist Party fanned the mob against foreign companies that have no spoken out against blood cotton in China and have publicly disavowed using Xinjiang blood cotton in their products.
Anta, the Olympic supplier for China’s uniforms, is still making its clothing with blood cotton.
“We have always bought and used cotton produced in China, including Xinjiang cotton, and in the future, we will continue to do so,” Anta said in a statement in March 2020.
A spokesperson for the International Olympic Committee deflected the matter with a statement that read, “For our uniforms in Tokyo, no cotton was used and we have been working closely with Anta to monitor the conditions in the factories producing our goods. The IOC is committed to continue its due diligence efforts with Anta.”
Anta’s stock has risen 21% in the past month as furious Chinese consumers have fled brands like Nike and Adidas over their newly announced refusal to use Xinjiang’s blood cotton.
In this case, “nationalism,” if that’s what you want to call it, is a marketing strategy. A more appropriate definition would be mass delusion, denial, extreme cognitive dissonance, and good old fashioned hysteria.
There is nothing noble about rallying behind genocide and its perpetrators.
When we speak about China we always make a point to distinguish the actions and official policies of the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese people.
But at some point, in an hour that appears to be approaching, the Chinese people themselves must be held responsible for their complicity in this genocide.