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China: Uighurs

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 29th January 2020.

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Photo of Shabana Mahmood Shabana Mahmood Labour, Birmingham, Ladywood

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Chinese counterpart on the alleged detention of Uighur Muslims.

Photo of Heather Wheeler Heather Wheeler The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

We regularly raise our concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang with the Chinese authorities at senior levels, and most recently our British Ambassador to China raised our concerns with Vice Foreign Minister Qin Gang on 24 December 2019. We also regularly discuss the situation in Xinjiang with likeminded partners including at the UN. We have issued or joined a number of statements registering our concern in recent months: on 29 October 2019 at UN Third Committee, the UK read out a joint statement signed by 22 others drawing attention to the human rights violations and abuses in Xinjiang and called on China to uphold its obligations to respect human rights. On 24 September 2019, during the UN General Assembly the Minister of State for the Commonwealth, UN and South Asia called on China to allow UN observers immediate and unfettered access to the region. On 17 September 2019, at the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council, the UK again called for UN experts to be granted unfettered access to Xinjiang and raised our concerns on arbitrary detention.

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