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China: Uighurs

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 250765, tabled on 3 May 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his Chinese counterpart on the reported mass detention of Uighur Muslims in that country.

Answered on

9 May 2019

Ministers and senior officials regularly raise our serious concerns about the treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang directly with the Chinese authorities, and will continue to do so. During my most recent visit to China in July 2018, I raised our concerns with my counterpart the Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Mr Field, Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific raised our concerns with Vice Minister Guo Yezhou during his visit to China on 22 July 2018.

We spoke publicly about the situation in Xinjiang at the 40th UN Human Rights Council which took place earlier this year. The Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion and Belief, Lord Ahmad, raised our concerns during his opening address on 25 February. The UK also spoke about Xinjiang during our “Item 4” national statement on 12 March, and we co-sponsored a side event on “Protecting the fundamental freedoms in Xinjiang” on 13 March.

Additionally, in our statement at China’s Universal Periodic Review on 6 November, we made clear our concern about the treatment of Uyghurs in China. The UK issued a specific recommendation to China that it implements the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination’s recommendations on Xinjiang and allows the UN to monitor the implementation.

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