UK-China Trading Relationship

Part of International Trade – in the House of Commons on 10th June 2021.

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Photo of Graham Stuart Graham Stuart Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)

It is one of the abiding characteristics of the left in general that if they cannot find a scare story they invent one. This Government are clear: we are not seeking a free trade agreement with China. We have led the world in challenging China where we have found it necessary to do so. Working with international partners, we seek to maximise impact on any actions China takes that run counter to its international treaty obligations, including detentions without trial, detention of human rights defenders, and persecution of some religious and ethnic minorities. We work with allies on the most effective means to challenge it. On 30 June, at the 44th session of the UN Human Rights Council, the UK read out a formal statement on behalf of 28 countries highlighting concerns about the human rights situation in Hong Kong and Xinjiang. I hope that the hon. Lady and other Opposition Members will never again suggest that we would do anything to put trade ahead of our responsibilities on human rights.