CFU PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 12, 12:00 PM ET
Sabrina Sohail: email@example.com
Campaign for Uyghurs (CFU) is deeply troubled by the recent revelation that the World Bank allocated over $25 million to companies in China with direct ties to the Chinese government and military — entities that are listed for sanctions in the United States since 2021. According to a federal watchdog, at least five Chinese companies sanctioned by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets and Control received contracts from World Bank borrowers from 2020 to 2021. These findings raise serious concerns about the World Bank’s due diligence and the breadth of its role in enabling China’s genocide against the Uyghur people.
A report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed that Chinese entities scored $21 billion from 2013 to 2022 in contracts. The Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), a state-owned economic and paramilitary organization under sanctions for facilitating a genocide, is reported to have received significant funding from the World Bank, $7.1 million in 2021 alone. According to a 2022 report by the Helena Kennedy Centre at the Sheffield Hallam University, this state-owned paramilitary group is “involved in a pervasive program of egregious rights violations that [affect] the most marginalized people in the Uyghur Region.” The World Bank’s financial contributions to such entities are in direct conflict with its core principles of eliminating poverty, promoting shared prosperity, and supporting sustainable development.
In 2021, the World Bank also granted substantial funds to several corporations, including the China Communications Construction Company Limited, a notorious enterprise penalized for its links to the Chinese military. This organization, infamous for its corrupt practices, plays a significant role in Beijing’s global “Belt and Road Initiative,” utilizing predatory financing, exploiting the environment, and engaging in other reprehensible acts worldwide. As affirmed by former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the China Communications Construction Company Limited is among the top contractors responsible for perpetrating such heinous actions. Despite its ill reputation and sanctioned conduct, the company still managed to secure a $6.8 million contract from a World Bank borrower in 2021.
CFU’s Executive Director Rushan Abbas expressed deep concern over the revelations that the World Bank poured millions of dollars into sanctioned Chinese companies with direct ties to the Chinese government and military. “The World Bank must answer for its failure to conduct proper due diligence in screening contractors, thereby contributing to atrocities by the Chinese Communist Party. It is a moral imperative for the World Bank to discontinue all engagement with sanctioned companies with ties to the Chinese government and military, including the XPCC, a state-owned paramilitary directly complicit in the Uyghur genocide. We call on the Biden administration and U.S. Congress to investigate these findings and ensure that the World Bank is held responsible for its actions,” Abbas said.
CFU reiterates that the World Bank must immediately halt all funding to Chinese companies implicated in the Uyghur genocide, particularly those on U.S. sanction lists, and take necessary steps to ensure that its policies align with its mandate and core principles. CFU also calls for greater transparency and accountability in the World Bank’s procurement processes to prevent future sanctions violations and perpetuating human rights abuses against the Uyghur people. Finally, CFU urges the U.S. government to take prompt action to address the implications of the World Bank’s dealings with sanctioned Chinese companies.