Most people would be appalled to know that products they rely on were made by slaves in labor camps. John Kerry finds it funny. At the recent United Nations climate change conference, a panelist pressed Joe Biden’s climate envoy and 2004 Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry about the use of Chinese slave labor to build solar panels. Instead of choosing to address the panelists concerns, he simply laughed and said the issue was “not my lane”. The Biden administration has long been accused of being soft on the ongoing Uyghur genocide in China. When Biden was asked about his thoughts on the genocide in February at a CNN town hall, he said “Culturally, there are different norms that each country and their leaders are expected to follow.” rather than condemning the genocide outright.
China has been accused by human and labor rights groups of using coercion to build solar panels. A report from the UK’s Sheffield Hallam University found “Significant evidence – largely drawn from government and corporate sources – reveals that labour transfers are deployed in the Uyghur Region within an environment of unprecedented coercion, undergirded by the constant threat of re-education and internment.” China’s Xinjiang region produces 45% of the world’s polysilicon, the most important component of producing solar panels.
Perhaps one of the reasons that Kerry is so dismissive of China’s use of slave labor is because he has a financial stake in it. The Free Beacon reported in October of this year that Kerry holds a $1 million stake in Hillhouse China Value Fund L.P, an equity firm that has shares in Chinese energy companies that have been accused of using Uyghur slave labor.