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WASHINGTON DC - Forced labour in the Xinjiang region's cotton industry will be harder to eradicate than in Uzbekistan because of China's economic might and political aims, according to a leading expert.

Adrian Zenz, director in China studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, has just published the first research on forced labour in Xinjiang's cotton harvest to appear in a peer-reviewed academic journal.

It includes new internal state documents which Zenz says show older Uyghur Muslims over the age of 60 - and some as old as 77 who were deemed "lazy" - were sent out into the fields to pick cotton.

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