Inquiries sought after Uighur exploitation led to a $ 1 billion rail vehicle contract in Western Australia

There is growing demand for an immediate survey of the $ 1.3 billion rail vehicle contract in Western Australia (WA) awarded to companies procuring parts from Chinese companies associated with Uighur slave labor.

A contract was signed between the Australian government and Alstom, a French rail transport company, to manufacture 246 rail cars in 2019, with all 246 rail cars manufactured in the state and the largest awarded in Perth. It was a contract.

However, half of the rolling stock parts are supplied by the KTK Group, a Chinese company owned by the US government. Named As one of the 11 companies allegedly involved in human rights abuses in “China’s repression campaign, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor, Uighurs, Kazakhs, and high-tech surveillance of members of other Muslim minority groups.”

In addition, last year’s Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) think tank report “Uighurs for saleThe contractor, Alstom, was found to be one of 82 companies that could directly or indirectly benefit from the use of Uighur slave workers in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Epoch Times Photo
Chinese flag on the wall of barbed wire in Kashgar, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China. (Jonathan Densford / Adobe Stock)

The report said Uighurs forced to work in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region were also transported to work in Chinese factories in other parts of China under the “Resurrected Exploiting Government-led Labor Transfer Plan.” rice field.

The Government of Western Australia does not answer the question asking whether it supports an independent investigation into the source of rail vehicle parts, but instead relies on Alstom’s guarantee that slave labor and exploitation are not involved in the supply chain. Stated.

“In November 2020, Alstom Global conducted a third-party human rights audit of the supply chain by a world-leading external auditing company,” WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti told The Epoch Times in an email.

“This independent audit did not identify the issue of forced labor that required a supplier change,” she said.

“I asked public transport to closely monitor the situation and work with Alstom to ensure that all suppliers maintain the high standards expected by the WA community.”

However, WA Shadow Planning Minister Neil Thomson, who formally requested the Labor government to support the bipartisan investigation, said the request for freedom of information was that the state refused to offer parts from Australia. He said he made it clear.

Epoch Times Photo
Neil Thomson, Minister of Planning, Land and Heritage, Western Australia. (Western Australia Parliament)

“In December 2020, Transport Minister Rita Safioti was warned about this issue and was given the option to procure supplies here in Australia if directed, but she chose not to do so,” Thomson said. Told Sky news..

He also expressed deep concern that the Government of Western Australia is keen on dealing with China.

“The entire contract may have been delivered here by an Australian supplier, but we chose not to do so. You have to ask” why “. “

“This is the Government of Western Australia, the same government that apologized to the People’s Republic of China for having a Taiwanese dance group in one of our theaters. You really, this Government of Western Australia is ours. Ask how far you are going to appease your major trading partners. “

Freedom of information as seen by The Epoch Times is a Taiwanese performance in 2020 by the director of the Perth Theater Trust, which is in charge of the state-owned venue, to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) staff of the Chinese Consulate in Perth.

Details of the apology were presented to Shinrin, a classic Chinese performance company based in New York, dedicated to preserving traditional Chinese art and history prior to communism.

A local presenter of Shen Yun has been denied attendance at the State Theater after applying annually for the past decade, and the Perth Theater Trust has “revealed unwelcome” to the Epoch Times.

The Western Australian Government has previously been criticized for its support, including protests from human rights groups after Western Australian Prime Minister Mark Magawan met with CCP officials to celebrate the anniversary of the establishment of the Communist Party administration. I came.

Epoch Times Photo
Premier of Western Australia Mark Magawan will address the media at a press conference at the Dumas House in Perth, Australia, on April 27, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Paul Kane / Getty Images)

McGowan has also visited China at least 34 times since the beginning of 2016 and at least four times between 2017 and 2019, personally meeting and giving speeches to Chinese Communist Party officials, according to the federal government. He has repeatedly defended Beijing from criticism. Express your willingness to return home when the border is reopened.

The Government of Western Australia justifies maintaining close ties with Beijing, which has a record $ 5.6 billion budget surplus fueled by the export of iron ore to China. ..

“Relationship with China is very important. We spent 50 years building a strong relationship with China. Obviously, it was much more difficult than the last three years,” McGowan said earlier. Said.

“Western Australia wants to remain a reliable and very strong trading partner and maintain good relations … when I have the opportunity to travel. [to China] And make sure we get involved again, I’ll do that, “he said.

Daniel Kumerev


Daniel Khmelev is a Perth-based Australian reporter working on energy, technology and politics. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, physics and computer science. Contact him at [email protected]