Xinjiang: Forced Labour

My Lords, I feel that what is happening in China is reminiscent of the Holocaust, which has also been said by the Board of Deputies. The unfortunate victims this time are Muslims. We must now all decide to put a stop to what is going on. While I support the measures set out in the Statement, we need to take more robust actions and proceed to declare the persecution as genocide, invoke Magnitsky sanctions and consider legislation similar to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act in the United States. Furthermore, if the amendment on the Trade Bill is not accepted in the other place, we need to think about introducing similar measures in future. I would also like to add that if China does not allow outsiders, including a UN Commissioner, to have access to Xinjiang, we must stop Chinese officials from coming to the United Kingdom.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: 

My Lords, there were a series of questions there. Some I believe have already answered, and I am sure my noble friend would acknowledge that. Of course, I share with him—as do the Government—the view that it is important to act and act now. As I have already illustrated, over the last few years we have seen real action being taken through multilateral fora, as well as directly, as the Statement from the Foreign Secretary has demonstrated. Of course, this does not stop here. If China fails to co-operate, we will continue to look to see what further provisions and actions can be taken. We take note of what our international partners are doing as well. As I have said consistently before, the application of sanctions works most effectively when we do so in partnership. On the point of stopping access to the UK for officials, one thing I will share with my noble friend, particularly through my engagement on multilateral fora, even with your worst foe you should never stop talking because by talking you are able to deliver your point of argument. China remains an important partner, so I do believe we will continue to work constructively where we agree with China and raise issues of human rights concerns where we do not.

Link to full debate on Hansard