Since at least February 2018, a German-born anthropologist named Adrian Zenz has alleged that China is persecuting the Uyghurs, a Turkic Muslim minority that inhabits Xinjiang, China’s westernmost autonomous region.
Zenz is a Senior Fellow at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC). His work has been published at the neoconservative Jamestown Foundation and the Newlines Institute, which is a project of Fairfax University of America (formerly Virginia International University).
Zenz’s work is the foundation of myriad claims by the Western-aligned corporate press, the Trump and Biden administrations, and U.S.-backed NGOs, that the Chinese Government is committing genocide against the Uyghurs.
Most notably, on his last day in office, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cited Zenz’s work to accuse the Chinese Government of “genocide” and “crimes against humanity” for its treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang. This charge included allegations of forced labor.
These allegations were embraced by the Biden administration, which then doubled down on targeted economic sanctions. The sanctions, titled the “Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act” (UFLPA) took effect on June 21, 2022. The Act creates a rebuttable presumption that all goods “mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in Xinjiang or by an entity on the UFLPA Entity List are prohibited from U.S. importation” under federal law.