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HONG KONG – Esquel Group, the Chinese textile manufacturing giant, has vowed to keep its Xinjiang factories in Western China open despite accusations about forced labour being used in Xinjiang cotton and apparel supply chains.

Esquel began its operations in Xinjiang in the mid-1990s. The company was singled along with five other businesses in draft legislation the US unveiled in March around imposing sanctions on Xinjiang imports. The Chinese authorities are accused of forcing thousands of its Uyghur Muslim citizens to work as “forced labour” in hundreds of factories across Chinese cities

Esquel, whose clients include Patagonia, Nike and Tommy Hilfiger, is the world’s largest woven shirt maker, producing about 100 million shirts annually.

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