To ask Her Majesty’s Government what information they have, and what representations they have made to the government of China, concerning the well-being and whereabouts of Bishop Shao Zhumin, newly appointed to Wenzhou diocese in China; and what steps they are taking to support negotiations for reconciliation between the recognised and the underground Catholic churches in China.
19 October 2016
We are concerned by reports about the well being and whereabouts of Bishop Shao Zhumin and will raise his case at the next round of the UK-China human rights dialogue, scheduled to take place this month.
We are robust in promoting religious freedoms with the Chinese authorities. While we have not yet raised the case of Bishop Shao Zhumin, I raised the destruction of churches and religious symbols with the Director of the National People's Congress Foreign Affairs Committee on 7 July 2016. The Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my Hon. Friend the Member for Reading West (Mr Sharma) raised the case of Ding Cuimei, who reportedly died while protesting the demolition of her church in Zhejiang province, with the Chinese Ambassador, in writing, on 1 August 2016.
We are aware of ongoing negotiations between the Holy See and the Chinese authorities, however these are a matter for the parties involved.