China: Ethnic Groups

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 8th February 2019.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has held with representatives of the Governments of other UN Security Council member states on the possibility of a UN investigation into China’s detention of Uighurs and other Muslims in Xinjiang province.

Photo of Mark Field Mark Field Minister of State

We have serious concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang and the Chinese government’s deepening crackdown; including credible reports that over 1 million Uyghur Muslims have been held in re-education camps, and of widespread surveillance and restrictions targeted at ethnic minorities.

During China’s Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council on 6 November, the UK made a statement which described our concern about the treatment of ethnic minorities in China, including Uyghurs. We issued a specific recommendation, calling on China to implement the recommendations by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on Xinjiang, and to allow the UN to monitor the implementation.

I raised our concerns about Xinjiang with Vice Minister Guo Yezhou during my visit to China on 22 July 2018. The Foreign Secretary also raised our concerns about the region with Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi during his visit to China on 30 July 2018. We will continue to discuss this issue with a range of countries.

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