House of Commons London
Dear Lord Alton,
Our ref: Your ref:
MC2021/08208 05 May 2021
Thank you for your correspondence of 31 March to the Foreign Secretary about the situation in Xinjiang, China, in which you share draft proposals for UN mechanisms for evidence collection. I am replying as the Minister for Asia.
As you know, the Government shares your deep concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and fully recognises the importance of building the evidence base, and engaging the UN in this endeavour. That is why the Foreign Secretary has made clear repeatedly that the UN Human Rights Commissioner, or another independent fact-finding body, must be given unfettered access to Xinjiang to investigate the situation on the ground. It is vitally important that China allows such access without delay, and this will continue to be a focus of our diplomatic efforts in relevant UN fora in the coming weeks and months.
In February, the Foreign Secretary reiterated this call for access to Xinjiang in a virtual statement at the 46th Session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) and urged members of the Human Rights Council to live up to their responsibilities on the issue.
The UK is committed to working with partners across the world to build the international caucus of those willing to speak out against China’s human rights abuses and increase the pressure on China to change its behaviour. Building and maintaining such support is of course critical to any further action in the UN, where China continues to command significant support.
The Global Human Rights sanctions we imposed on four senior Chinese government officials and one entity responsible for human rights violations in Xinjiang, taken alongside the US, Canada and the EU, sent a clear message that the international community will not turn a blind eye.
Nigel Adams MP
Minister of State for Asia
King Charles Street London
Tel: 0207 008 5000
The UK will continue to lead international efforts, including at the UN, to hold China to account.
Nigel Adams MP Minister of State for Asia