China

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:43 pm on 20th July 2020.

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Photo of Thomas Tugendhat Thomas Tugendhat Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee, Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee 3:43 pm, 20th July 2020

I thank again—I am getting into a bad habit here—my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary for an extremely good policy change. This makes the fifth, by my count, that he has backed the Foreign Affairs Committee on, following the strategic alignment of the Department, the BNOs, the Magnitsky protocols generally, and foreign ownership control overseas. This is actually claiming credit slightly for his work, because he was so instrumental in many of those things during his time on the Back Benches.

Given my right hon. Friend’s time before even entering the House as a human rights lawyer, may I ask why he has not yet made an announcement on the abuse of the Uyghur Muslim population in western China—action that his opposite number in the United States, or rather the US Treasury, has already taken, and that has been campaigned on so forcefully by my hon. Friend Alicia Kearns and my right hon. Friend Sir Iain Duncan Smith?

May I also ask what my right hon. Friend’s view is of article 38 and the extraterritoriality of the jurisdiction of the security law, the implications for British, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand judges sitting on the Court of Final Appeal, and whether he has discussed that with his opposite numbers? Of course, the application of Chinese law to a common law jurisdiction could make the position of those judges untenable, and it is really for him to advise them on how to act.