Biden signs Bills on forced labour in China, ALS research

Washington DC: President Joe Biden signed a bill into law Thursday to block imports from China's Xinjiang region unless businesses can prove the items were made without forced labour, the latest in a series of intensifying US penalties against the Asian power for alleged abuses.

The measure had to overcome some initial hesitation from the White House, as well as corporate opposition, to win final passage last week in the Senate, following earlier House passage. Biden also signed a separate bill Thursday funding research into a cure for Lou Gehrig's disease.

"Today, I signed the bipartisan Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act," Biden said on Twitter, along with a photo of him as he signed the legislative text at his desk in the Oval Office. "The United States will continue to use every tool at our disposal to ensure supply chains are free from the use of forced labour including from Xinjiang and other parts of China."

The new law is the latest in a series of attempts by the US to get tough with China over its alleged systemic and widespread abuse of ethnic and religious minorities in its western region, especially Xinjiang's predominantly Muslim Uyghurs. It requires US government agencies to expand their monitoring of the use of forced labour by China's ethnic minorities.

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