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China: Surveillance

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 290306, tabled on 24 September 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the level of use of variables on (a) ethnicity and (b) religion in (i) visual identification and (ii) suspect profiling systems used by the Chinese Government in Xinjiang.

Answered on

30 September 2019

We are aware of reports that citizens in Xinjiang are being required to provide information to Chinese authorities about religious observance and foreign contacts. We are also aware of reports that such data is used to categorise citizens, and that ethnicity and religion are being used as designators. We are monitoring the situation closely. FCO officials regularly travel to the region to attempt to verify such reports; they most recently visited in May 2019. We remain concerned about any disproportionate and indiscriminate measures that undermine freedom of religion and freedom of expression.