Three key export markets for China recently acted in very different ways – all aimed at putting pressure on Beijing - to growing concerns over the alleged use of forced labour involving incarcerated Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region.

Most forthright was the US which has banned imports of all cotton - and also tomato products - from the region which produces more than 80 per cent of China's cotton and over a fifth of global supplies.

The UK, arguing that a full import ban is unfeasible, announced proposals which would instead take action against British companies that export goods from China without exercising due diligence on forced labour issues in their supply chains.

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