Volkswagen’s CEO has confirmed that the company will remain running its plant in China, despite reported human rights violations there, according to the executive’s comments issued in Handelsblatt newspaper on Monday.
The Germany-based car manufacturer, which has ties to China’s largest automaker SAIC Motor (a partnership), opened its factory in 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.
Volkswagen faces a major dilemma in China after reports of human rights violations were made known. The Economy Ministry has not offered any guarantees to safeguard new investments due to the reported cases, said an article from Der Spiegel on Friday.
China has strongly denied any misconduct toward the 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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