China enslaving Uyghur Muslims to produce the solar panels we import

You couldn't make it up if you tried.

Right now, the “teal independents” of Vaucluse, Mosman and Lavendar Bay are calling for the closure of offshore detention centres in the name of “human rights”... while demanding solar panels be installed on the roof of every home in the country.

The problem with holding these two policy positions at the same time?

They fundamentally contradict each other. 

How on Earth can these "teals" pretend to care about human rights when their beloved solar panels are made in China.

The vast bulk of the four key components of the solar panel manufacturing supply chain – polysilicon, wafers, cells and modules – are made in China. 

The worst part?

The majority of these solar panel components are made in Xinjiang – the region where the Chinese Communist Party is committing egregious human rights abuses against ethnic minorities on a daily basis.

Just ask the United Nations Human Rights Office (UNCHR).

In its 2022 “Assessment of human rights concerns in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, People’s Republic of China”, the UNCHR found:

  1. Two-thirds of the twenty-six former Uyghur Muslim detainees interviewed said they had “been subjected to treatment that would amount to torture and/or other forms of ill-treatment” in the CCP’s Vocational Education and Training Centres (VETCs) for counter-terrorism and counter-extremism purposes.
  2. Their accounts included being “beaten with batons, including electric batons while strapped in a so-called “tiger chair”; being subjected to interrogation with water being poured in their faces; prolonged solitary confinement; and being forced to sit motionless on small stools for prolonged periods of time”.
  3. A consistent theme was description of “constant hunger and, consequently, significant to severe weight loss during their periods in the facilities. They also spoke about constant surveillance and the lights in the dorms/cells being switched on throughout the night, depriving them of sleep”.
  4. Interviewees described how “people in the dorms/cells would have to take two-hour night shifts to ensure cellmates were not praying or otherwise breaking rules at night-time. Some also noted that they were not allowed to speak their own language (whether Uyghur or Kazakh) and could not practise their religion, such as pray, which they experienced as a further hardship”
  5. One interviewee described their experience as follows: “we were forced to sing patriotic song after patriotic song every day, as loud as possible and until it hurts, until our faces become red and our veins appeared on our face.”
  6. Some also spoke of various forms of sexual violence, including “some instances of rape, affecting mainly women. These accounts included having been forced by guards to perform oral sex in the context of an interrogation and various forms of sexual humiliation, including forced nudity”.
  7. Several women recounted being subject to “invasive gynaecological examinations, including one woman who described this taking place in a group setting which “made old women ashamed and young girls cry”. 

Meanwhile satellite imagery shows that a large number of mosques have been destroyed in

Xinjiang over the last few years. 

In the space of two years the birth rate in Xinjiang has collapsed. And Uyghurs are being sterilised against their will.

So to the “teal independents” who want to keep importing billions of dollars worth of solar panels from Xinjiang to replace our ageing fleet of coal-fired power plants.

How can you call for the transition to Chinese-made solar panels when they’re made in a region where ethnic minorities are being tortured for their religions and culture?

Why do you value the “human rights” of asylum seekers who tried to illegally enter the country over Ughur Muslims who are being enslaved to produce solar panels.  

When will you understand that a competitive domestic solar panel manufacturing industry requires cheap, baseload power the likes of which comes out of China’s fleet of 1000+ coal-fired power plants?