TTO – 1.234km đường cao tốc từ TP.HCM đi các tỉnh phía Đông, phía Tây và các đường cao tốc ở khu vực đồng bằng sông Cửu Long đã được Thủ tướng Chính phủ phê duyệt quy hoạch đến năm 2020 và định hướng đến năm 2030.
Đến nay khu vực này chỉ có 95km đường cao tốc đã cho xe lưu thông, gồm 40km cao tốc TP.HCM – Trung Lương (TP.HCM, Long An, Tiền Giang) và 55km cao tốc TP.HCM – Long Thành – Dầu Giây. Vì vậy, các cơ quan chức năng đang đẩy nhanh triển khai nhiều dự án cao tốc.
Không chỉ Trung Quốc và Philippines, Việt Nam cũng tuyên bố chủ quyền đối với đá Ba Đầu. Câu hỏi đặt ra là liệu Trung Quốc có ngang nhiên biến Ba Đầu thành sự kiện bãi cạn Scarborough thứ hai hay không?
Bà Lê Thị Thu Hằng, người phát ngôn Bộ Ngoại giao Việt Nam, đã lên tiếng chỉ trích Trung Quốc vi phạm chủ quyền Việt Nam. Trong khi đó, Ngoại trưởng Mỹ Anthony Blinken cũng lên tiếng trên Twitter sẵn sàng bảo vệ Philippines trước các tàu dân quân Trung Quốc.
In the wake of fresh Western sanctions earlier this week against officials responsible for the region in the country’s northwest, those corporate statements resurfaced on Chinese social media and were met with fury.
“For enterprises that touch the bottom line of our country, the response is very clear: don’t buy!” China Central Television said on its social media account.
Many users also joined the calls for a boycott, urging local retailers to carry domestic stock instead.
The hashtag #ISupportXJCotton — created by the state-owned People’s Daily — generated more than 3 million ‘likes’ as of Friday on the Chinese social media platform Weibo.
The fallout continued offline too, with Chinese celebrities quick to disassociate themselves from the brands and tear up endorsement deals.
Popular actor Wang Yibo terminated his contract with Nike, his agency said in a statement posted on Weibo on Thursday.
And luxury fashion brand Burberry saw its iconic plaid design removed from the clothing worn by characters in the popular video game “Honor of Kings,” according to a post on the game’s official Weibo account.
I will stop buying or using Burberry products until Burberry has retracted or apologized for its unfounded allegations against Xinjiang. pic.twitter.com/Mus4FXeVXm— Regina Ip Lau Suk Yee (@ReginaIplau) March 26, 2021
The backlash appeared to begin when the Communist Party’s Youth League on Wednesday called attention to a statement initially issued by the Swedish company H&M last year.
It also prompted users to look for previously issued statements by other foreign retailers on Xinjiang.
The original statement from the H&M Group said it was “deeply concerned by reports from civil society organizations and media that include accusations of forced labor and discrimination of ethnoreligious minorities in Xinjiang.”
The company said Thursday that “At this point we have nothing further to share” and directed NBC News to the statement.
The Nike statement is undated and reads: “We are concerned about reports of forced labor in, and connected to, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Nike does not source products from the XUAR and we have confirmed with our contract suppliers that they are not using textiles or spun yarn from the region.”
Nike did not immediately respond to requests for comment from NBC News.
“The H&M Group continues to respect the Chinese consumer. We are committed to long-term investment and development in China,” it said.
As the world’s second largest economy and home to 1.4 billion people, Chinese purchasing power is strong.
“This is not actually the first time this kind of nationalistic backlash against a foreign firm has happened,” said Xin Sun, a lecturer in Chinese and East Asian Business at the Lau China Institute at King’s College London.
Chinese consumers have previously launched powerful boycotts of goods from Japan, South Korea and the U.S. in the last decade, he said, often with the “unofficial and implicit” backing of the ruling Communist Party.
But with the Uyghur issue an increasing flashpoint andtensions between Washington and Beijing showing no signs of abating, Sun said it was getting trickier for Western brands to operate in both markets.
“They try to respond to the increasing scrutiny from Western customers and people about their supply chains,” he told NBC News.
“They’re walking a very fine line between the Western market and of course the Chinese market is very big for them but you see the political pressure from all directions.”
The latest backlash comes shortly after sanctions were issued against Chinese officials on Monday by the United States, European Union, Britain and Canada.
A spokesman for China’s Ministry of Commerce, Gao Feng, said on Thursday the accusations of forced labor in Xinjiang were “completely untrue,” urging foreign companies to “correct their wrongdoings, and prevent business activities from becoming political issues.”
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying told a news conference on Thursday that the “strong reaction from Chinese netizens” spoke for themselves and that Chinese people had a right to express their feelings and “oppose malicious attacks on China based on rumors and lies.”
She also held up photos at the daily media briefing of Black people picking cotton in the U.S., contrasting them with a second photograph of people smiling in cotton fields in Xinjiang.
The annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – the Human Rights Reports – cover internationally recognized individual, civil, political, and worker rights, as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international agreements. The U.S. Department of State submits reports on all countries receiving assistance and all United Nations member states to the U.S. Congress in accordance with the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and the Trade Act of 1974.
Later this year, the Department of State will release an addendum to each 2020 country report that expands the subsection on women in Section 6, entitled “Discrimination, Societal Abuses, and Trafficking in Persons,” to include a broader range of issues related to reproductive rights. The addendum will cover maternal health issues such as maternal mortality, government policy adversely affecting access to contraception, access to skilled healthcare during pregnancy and childbirth, access to emergency healthcare, and discrimination against women in accessing sexual and reproductive health care, including for sexually transmitted infections. These topics were included in previous Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, and they will be included again in future years.