China: Human Rights

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 21st October 2015.

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Photo of Margaret Ritchie Margaret Ritchie Social Democratic and Labour Party, South Down

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations his Department has made on human rights in China.

Photo of Hugo Swire Hugo Swire The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

We pay close attention to the human rights situation in China and outline a range of our concerns in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy.

Bilaterally, we are one of only a few countries to maintain an annual human rights dialogue with China: the most recent dialogue was in Beijing in April. Ministers also consistently raise human rights issues. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond) raised the matter of detained lawyers during his visit to China in August. I raised concerns over a proposed draft non-government organisation law with Ambassador Liu Xiaoming in June.

We also make representations through international mechanisms. In a statement to the Human Rights Council on 21 September, the UK made clear that it remained concerned by reports of the detention of human rights lawyers since 9 July 2015, and urged the Chinese authorities to release these lawyers.

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