US-China relations have been heading south throughout 2021

Relations between the world’s biggest economies, US and China, have been heading south throughout 2021. Just recently they’ve taken a further dive over claims of human rights abuses in the Chinese region of Xinjiang. The United States recently passed tough new legislation that puts the onus on businesses to prove their supply chains are free of forced labor. It accuses China of persecuting Xinjiang’s Muslim-minority Uyghur population through internment-camps, forced-labor programs and intense surveillance. More than a million Uyghurs are believed to have been detained. However, for firms trying to pull out of the region, things can get tricky. US chipmaker Intel issued an apology last week after urging its suppliers to avoid sourcing goods from Xinjiang. The announcement had caused an uproar in China. Meanwhile — the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing are putting pressure on businesses from another angle: Western human rights groups have criticized the American firms sponsoring events. These include the likes of AirBnB, Coca-Cola and General Electric.