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China: Religious Freedom

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 272262, tabled on 2 July 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations the Government has made to the Government of the People's Republic of China on the treatment of (a) Christian and (b) Muslim minority communities in that country.

Answered on

8 July 2019

We remain deeply concerned about the persecution of Christians, Muslims and others on the grounds of their religion or belief in China. The freedom to practise, change or share ones faith or belief without discrimination or violent opposition is a human right that all people should enjoy.

Accordingly, at the 40th UN Human Rights Council in March 2019, during his opening address on 25 February, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad raised concerns about restrictions on freedom of religion and belief in China including on Muslims in Xinjiang and Christians across China. We also co-sponsored a side event on “Protecting the fundamental freedoms in Xinjiang” in March 2019, which helped to raise awareness of the situation among the international community. Lord Ahmad also set out the Government’s position when answering an Oral Question in the House of Lords on 4 April 2019. Further, we raised our concerns on freedom of religion and belief during China’s Universal Periodic Review in November 2018.

Ministers and senior officials frequently raise human rights issues bilaterally with their Chinese counterparts. The Foreign Secretary highlighted our concerns on Xinjiang with Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi during his most recent visit to China in July 2018. Our Embassy in Beijing regularly raises the treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang and concerns about the pressures facing Christians directly with Chinese officials.

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