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BEIJING - China is looking to Asian countries such as Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to reduce its reliance on imported cotton from the United States and Australia.

With relations strained between China and western countries - amidst ongoing allegations about the use of forced labour in the cotton industry of China's Xinjiang region - Beijing is reportedly looking elsewhere for cotton imports.

The Xinjiang region provides around a fifth of the world's cotton but even with this huge resource, China relies on imports from other countries - mostly the US and Australia - for its needs.

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