China: Oppression

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 30th January 2020.

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Photo of Jonathan Edwards Jonathan Edwards Shadow PC Spokesperson (Treasury), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Foreign Intervention), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterparts in the Chinese Government on the long-term persecution of (a) the Uyghur Muslims, (b) Falun Gong practitioners and (c) other ethnic and religious minority groups in China.

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

We remain deeply concerned about the persecution of Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Falun Gong practitioners and others on the grounds of their religion or belief in China. We regularly raise our concerns about human rights and freedom of religion or belief with the Chinese authorities at senior levels. Most recently our UK 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 26 September 2019 during an Urgent Question, the Foreign Secretary set out the UK’s position on the persecution of groups in China on the grounds of religion or belief. As the Foreign Secretary stated in the House, we are concerned that Chinese Government guidelines on unapproved religious activity, education and travel may restrict the peaceful observation of those rights.

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