China: Labour Programme in Tibet — [Mr Philip Hollobone in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:57 am on 7th October 2020.

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Photo of Iain Duncan Smith Iain Duncan Smith Conservative, Chingford and Woodford Green 10:57 am, 7th October 2020

I thank my hon. Friend the Minister for his comments at the end of this really powerful debate, featuring many right hon. and hon. Members from both sides of the House. It is clear from the debate that there is now a growing strength and unity of feeling across all parts of the House of Commons that the policy—as referenced by the Opposition spokesman, Stephen Kinnock—initiated by the then Chancellor and Prime Minister of a Government in which I served, which was referred to in turn as “Project Kowtow”, can no longer exist. We now need to bear down on Chinese abuse.

The point of the debate was to highlight the latest abuse in Tibet, but more than that, across the board, I urge my hon. Friend the Minister to take the following points forward. We must make sure that Magnitsky sanctions are applied to those mentioned in the reports, as well reports on Xinjiang and the Uyghurs and all those other areas as well, particularly Hong Kong. It is time now to call them out and put those sanctions in place; we have spent too long thinking about it.

We need to condemn those companies involved with and linked to modern-day slavery and abuse in China. The Government should call out those companies. The way to act here is to agree to amendment 68 to the Trade Bill in the House of Lords, which would immediately stop that activity. I ask my hon. Friend to tell those in the Government that it is time to take a position on the Olympics, no matter what.

I hope that the calling out of those abuses in Tibet for a long time by many of my right hon. and hon. Friends, including my hon. Friend the Minister, will let the Government know that we can no longer just say that we want a good and constructive relationship with China. We want an honest relationship with China—one in which, when something is wrong, we say it is wrong. In this case, if genocide and abuses of human rights are taking place, we now, as a Government and as a people, must call them out and take action.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved,

That this House
has considered reports of China’s rapid expansion of the labour programme in Tibet co-published by the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China.