Relations with China: Xi Jinping Presidency — [Sir Edward Leigh in the Chair]

Part of Backbench Business – in Westminster Hall at 1:30 pm on 16th March 2023.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health) 1:30 pm, 16th March 2023

The hon. Lady is absolutely right. The disgraceful and quite illegal treatment of the Uyghurs in China has disturbed us and put a burden on our hearts for them. We cannot understand how any country that espouses freedom—as China likes to say it does whenever it does the very opposite—can act in that way. The forced sterilisation of women, the abuse of women, the imprisonment of millions of Uyghurs in camps and the taking away of their religious liberty and their right to express themselves concern us greatly, so the hon. Lady is right to highlight that matter and to ensure that we have the opportunity to understand it.

The crackdown in Hong Kong is another issue. We watched as we handed over Hong Kong to the Chinese. The Chinese made lots of assertions that they would ensure that freedom was maintained, and for a short period it was, but things have gone downhill over the past few years, and China is cracking down hard on any expression in Hong Kong.