China

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

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Photo of Alistair Carmichael Alistair Carmichael Liberal Democrat Chief Whip, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) 3:43 pm, 20th July 2020

It seems wrong to be welcoming a suspension of extradition and exports, but backward steps though these may be, they are necessary, and my party will support them. Never mind the restrictions on exports—when will the Government start looking at the materials that we are importing from China, in particular those manufactured by Hikvision? It is some of the most intrusive surveillance technology to be found anywhere in the world, it is used widely in Xinjiang province, and it is now being purchased and installed by public and private authorities up and down this country. Will the Government look at that in a joined-up way?

On the subject of Xinjiang province, the world is watching, and what we are seeing is horrific. There was the drone footage at the weekend. Last week there was the interception of a shipment of human hair. I know that “genocide” is a term of art in law, and the Foreign Secretary is right to be cautious about its use, but it would make an enormous difference to tackling the issues in Xinjiang province if he would admit from the Dispatch Box that there are a growing number of adminicles of evidence that that is absolutely what is happening.