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China: Uighurs

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 259062, tabled on 3 June 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his Chinese counterpart in response to recent restrictions placed on the Uighur community during the month of Ramadan.

Answered on

11 June 2019

The Foreign Secretary has not to date made representations to his counterpart on the specific issue of reports of restrictions on the Uyghur community during Ramadan. However, Ministers and senior officials frequently raise with their Chinese counterparts our wider concerns about the treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang. During the Foreign Secretary’s most recent visit to China in July 2018, he raised this with Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

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

Further, 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 United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination’s recommendations on Xinjiang and allows the UN to monitor the implementation