I was clear during my wide-ranging discussions with President Xi Jinping of the importance that the UK attaches to human rights as part of our wider relationship with China. The joint statement reconfirmed our commitment to the Human Rights Dialogue, an important part of our engagement.
We raise the range of our human rights concerns directly with China, including during the annual UK-China Human Rights Dialogue, most recently in April 2015. We also highlight them publicly in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Annual Report on Human Rights. We will continue to pursue our concerns both privately and in public fora.
We believe that freedom of religion or belief is a fundamental human right. I remain concerned by the restrictions placed on Christianity in China. We are aware of reports of the closure or demolition of churches, the removal of crosses from buildings, and that individuals are being harassed or detained for their beliefs.