Photo: Reuters

On Monday, Volkswagen’s CEO confirmed that it would remain running its plant in China’s Xinjiang region even with alleged human rights violations there, according to the executive’s comments issued in Handelsblatt newspaper. 

The Germany-based car manufacturer, which has a partnership with China’s largest auto manufacturer SAIC Motor, has operated its factory since 2013 in Urumqi, the western region capital where Western countries and rights groups claim there is torture towards ethnic Uyghurs.

“I believe that the presence of SAIC Volkswagen leads to the situation improving for people,” said Chief Executive Herbert Diess, according to the articles in the newspaper. 

“We travel there, and like everywhere in the world, we ensure our labour standards are implemented and that cultural and religious differences are respected,” Diess told Handelsblatt. 

As per the report, he added that any proof of misdeed at the Xinjiang factory would be given a “massive” countermand. 

The Economy Ministry of Germany has not offered VW any guarantees to safeguard new China investments due to the reported human rights violations, said a report from Der Spiegel on Friday. 

China has reiterated its innocence in the alleged wrongdoing of Uyghurs, calling supposed detention camps voluntary vocational training centers. 

In the same matter, Volkswagen has been pressed to address human rights issues in Brazil, where authorities have probed into the reported human rights violations on a cattle farm in the country.

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