We have serious concerns about the situation in Xinjiang, where there are credible reports of over a million Uyghurs and other minorities being detained in so-called “re-education camps".
Ministers and senior officials frequently raise the human rights issues in the region with their Chinese counterparts. The Foreign Secretary highlighted our concerns with Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi during his most recent visit to China in July 2018. Later that month, the Minister for Asia & the Pacific did the same with his Chinese counterpart Vice Minister Guo Yezhou. Additionally, our Embassy in Beijing regularly raises the treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang with the Chinese authorities.
Further, we spoke publicly about the situation in the region at the 40th UN Human Rights Council in February and March 2019. I raised our concerns during my 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 which helped to raise awareness of the situation among the international community.
Moreover, in our statement at China’s Universal Periodic Review on 6 November 2018, 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.
We will continue to raise the human rights situation in Xinjiang with the Chinese Government at all levels bilaterally and in appropriate UN fora, including the Human Rights Council.