Xinjiang: Uyghurs

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered at on 19 February 2024.

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Photo of Neil Coyle Neil Coyle Labour, Bermondsey and Old Southwark

To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what his policy is on the use of the term genocide in reference to Uyghurs in Xinjiang province.

Photo of Anne-Marie Trevelyan Anne-Marie Trevelyan Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

It is the UK Government's longstanding policy that any judgment as to whether genocide has occurred is a matter for judicial decision, rather than for the government. We are taking robust action in response to China's human rights violations in Xinjiang regardless. In October 2023, the UK led a joint statement with a record 50 signatories on Xinjiang at the UN, demonstrating a significant number of countries are prepared to call China out for its human rights violations. We have also imposed sanctions, enhanced export controls, provided guidance to businesses, and taken action to tackle forced labour in supply chains. The UK Government also consistently raises human rights violations with the Chinese authorities at the highest levels - the Foreign Secretary last did so during a call with China's Foreign Minister in December 2023.

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