Report: China Is Using 'Forced Labor' to Manufacture Face Masks

Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP

The New York Times reports that China is using what amounts to slave labor to manufacture face masks.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to drive demand for personal protective equipment, Chinese companies are rushing to manufacture the gear for domestic and global consumption. A New York Times visual investigation has found that some of those companies are using Uighur labor through a contentious government-sponsored program that experts say often puts people to work against their will.


The Uighurs are an ethnic minority in China, which is majority Han Chinese.

The report may shed some light on video we and many others posted last week.

The video dates to at least Sept. of 2019, and apparently shows Chinese government officers in black guarding Uighurs, who are blindfolded and shackled, kneeling, before being loaded onto trains. The video reportedly originates in Xinjiang, the province in which the Uighurs live and are forcibly moved from to work in factories elsewhere. Interestingly, many of the officers in black are wearing face masks.

In its report on forced labor, the NYT tracked some of the masks from the manufacturers to places around the world, but only mentions one by name: Georgia, here in the U.S.A. It’s almost as if the Times wants to find a way to blame the United States for China’s racial slave labor practices. But these masks aren’t Nike shoes.

In a response to The Times, the spokesman for China’s Embassy in the U.S. said the program helps “local residents rise above poverty through employment and lead fulfilling lives.”

Quotas on the number of workers put into the labor program and the penalties faced by those who refuse to cooperate, however, mean that participation is often, in effect, involuntary.


The Times ought to be best known for its active and successful work covering up Joseph Stalin’s genocide in 1930s Ukraine. The Times’ man in Moscow, Walter Duranty, enabled monsters.

I only bring that up now because it’s more than a little surprising that this report somehow made the pages of the same newspaper that is actively undermining the United States via its shameful, wildly biased and inaccurate 1619 Project.

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