AKSU, China (AP) — A backlash against reports of forced labor and other abuses toward a largely Muslim ethnic group in Xinjiang is taking a toll on China’s cotton industry, but it’s unclear if the pressure will compel the government or companies to change their ways. Forced labor figures in broader concerns about human rights in Xinjiang, a major cotton-producing region in the remote northwest that home to the Uyghur ethnic group. Xinjiang officials deny the charges and brush off Western criticism. They say companies may suffer from pressure in the short run but will prevail by shifting to China’s own market and others in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
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