German Chemical Firm BASF Quits Chinese Joint Ventures

German Chemical Firm BASF Quits Chinese Joint Ventures
Photo: Sean Gallup/Staff/Getty Images News via Getty Images

The Facts

  • German chemical company BASF announced on Friday the divesting of two joint ventures in China, BASF Markor Chemical Manufacturing and Markor Meiou Chemical (Xinjiang) Co., stating that the market for chemicals made at the production sites was oversupplied.

  • This comes after German news outlets ZDF and Der Spiegel claimed that employees at its local partner Markor had joined Chinese officials on visits to repress ethnic Uyghurs in the northwestern Xinjiang region.


The Spin

Anti-China narrative

China's repression of Xinjiang's Uyghur Muslims is well-known and documented. The reports of Xinjiang Markor's menacing invasive "home visits" merely reiterates a long history. As a responsible company, BASF cannot hide away from its duties, and its decision to quit its joint ventures in the region is a welcome step toward ensuring that the lure of profits doesn't overshadow the need to respect basic civil liberties.

Pro-China narrative

The hounding of BASF in the name of supposed human rights abuse may have forced it to take the drastic decision of quitting its joint ventures in the stable and prospering Xinjiang, but its overall commitment to China remains firm. Beijing will not allow this unfortunate development to affect its Xinjiang policy. Neither will it allow outsiders to succeed in their smear campaign against the nation.

Nerd narrative

There's a 50% chance that the total aggregate score given to China by Freedom House in 2028 will be at least 11.3, according to the Metaculus prediction community.


Establishment split

CRITICAL

PRO

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