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Volkswagen to Remain Operating in China Amid Reported Human Rights Violations

Photo: Reuters

Volkswagen’s CEO said on Monday they would continue producing cars in China despite alleged human rights violations, as per the executive’s comments issued in Handelsblatt newspaper. 

The German automaker, which has a close tie with China’s biggest auto manufacturer SAIC Motor, has operated its factory since 2013 in Urumqi, the western region capital where Western countries and rights groups claim there is torture towards ethnic Uyghurs.

“I believe that the presence of SAIC Volkswagen leads to the situation improving for people,” said Chief Executive Herbert Diess, according to the articles in the newspaper. 

“We travel there, and like everywhere in the world, we ensure our labour standards are implemented and that cultural and religious differences are respected,” Diess told Handelsblatt. 

According to the report, he added that any proof of misdeed at the Xinjiang factory would be given a “massive” countermand. 

The German Economy Ministry has not offered VW any guarantees to safeguard new China investments due to reports of human rights violations, according to a report from Der Spiegel on Friday.

China has rejected any misconduct allegations toward the Uyghurs, calling supposed detention camps voluntary vocational training centers. 

In the same matter, Volkswagen has been pressed to address human rights issues in Brazil, where authorities have probed into the reported human rights violations on a cattle farm in the country.

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