UQ: Campaign by Chinese Government to suppress Uyghur birth rates in Xinjiang

29 June 2020

Nigel Adams, Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Office answers urgent question from Sir Ian Duncan Smith on Chinese Communist Parties’ campaign to suppress Uyghur birth rates in Xinjiang.

It has been reported that the Chinese Government is using pregnancy checks, forced IUD's, sterilisation and abortion to minimise Uyghur birth rates.

The Uyghurs are Turkic-speaking Muslims. The Uyghurs are one of a number of persecuted Muslim minorities in Xinjiang, including the Kazakhs, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Kyrgyz and Hui.

Nigel Adams: "The UK will continue to exercise leadership on this important issue"

Nigel Adams, Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Office said "these reports add to our concern about the human rights situation in Xinjiang and, of course, we will be considering this report very carefully."

Commenting on the ongoing broader human rights situations in Xinjiang, Nigel Adams said its a "serious concern to the Government".

The concerns include the extrajudicial detention of over one million Uyghur Muslims and other minorities, supressing birth rates from those communities and re-education.

He went on to say that further reports have indicated that "forced labour is being used and that children are being forcibly separated from their parents".

He said:

"Since 2018 we've played a leading role in raising these concerns at the United Nations.

"For example, at the UN third committee in October the UK read out a statement on behalf of 22 other countries drawing attention to the human rights violation and the abuse in Xinjiang and calling on China to uphold its obligations to respect human rights.

"We've consistently raised the issue at the UN's Human Rights Council.

"In addition, we advise all businesses involved in investing in Xinjiang or with parts of their supply chain in Xinjiang to consider conducting appropriate due diligence to satisfy themselves that their activities do not support or risk to be seen to be supporting any human rights violation or abuses.

"The UK will continue to exercise leadership on this important issue, raising it directly with the Chinese Government and working with partners to do so at the UN."

Sir Iain Duncan Smith: this "is directly the result of [Chinese] Government actions"

Responding to Nigel Adams, Sir Iain Duncan Smith said a report by Adrian Zen showed birth rates in the two mostly Uyghur regions plummeted by almost 60% from 2015 to 2018.

Across the Xingjian region birth rates fell nearly 24% in one year, compared to 4.2% in the nation as a whole.

He said it is clear that this "is directly the result of [Chinese] Government actions".

He called on the Government to make their own "legal determination after weighing up this [the report] new evidence".

He concluded:

"Given the Chinese Government's appalling record on human rights, its attack on freedoms in Hong Kong, its bullying behaviours and border disputes from the South China seas to India, its blatant breaching of the rules based order governing the free market and its delayed declaration on Covid-19, will the Government now initiate an internal review on the UK's dependence on China, with a view of significantly reducing this dependence and call on the free world to come together to ensure that this growing threat from China is dealt with together". 

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