Thank you for contacting me about human rights issues in Tibet and the actions of the Chinese Government.
The human rights situation in Tibet, as in many regions of China, is very concerning, particularly the restrictions on freedom of religion and belief, and of assembly and association. Indeed, as detailed in the most recent FCDO Human Rights and Democracy Report, China is one of thirty priority countries of concern for the UK, in part because of its behaviour towards the rights of the people of Tibet.
I believe that meaningful dialogue between the Chinese Government and representatives from Tibet (including the Tibetan Government in Exile) is the best way to try to resolve underlying tensions.
The UK regularly raises concerns with China, directly and multilaterally via the UN, about human rights in Tibet. Most recently, on 6 October 2020, the UK and 38 other countries joined a statement at the UN Third Committee in New York calling on China to respect human rights, particularly the rights of persons belonging to religious and ethnic minorities, in Tibet and elsewhere.
The UK is also funding research and engaging with business and other stakeholders to promote knowledge of China's human rights violations. This ensures supply chains are free from the products of human rights violations and means businesses do not, unwittingly or otherwise, profit from or support human rights abuses, including in Tibet.
Regarding the treatments of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, which you mention, I am sure you will have seen that the UK Government regularly makes strong representations to China on this issue. For example, the Foreign Secretary has repeatedly called on the Chinese Government to allow UN experts unfettered access to Xinjiang, most recently at the 46th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on 22 February. I also welcome the imposition of sanctions on 22 March, in unison with the US, EU and Canada, against four senior Chinese officials and the Public Security Bureau of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, who are responsible for the systematic violations of the human rights of Uyghurs in the region. China has so far refused engage in these efforts, but I know that Ministers and UK officials will continue to lead the international effort to bring about such access and hold China to account.
I have noted your concerns about suitability of China hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics, whether because of its disregard for the rights of the citizens of Hong Kong or for human rights violations in Tibet and against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang. The UK has repeatedly raised these concerns with China, and I am assured that the UK will continue to work with our international allies to hold China to account for its actions and urge it to live up to its responsibilities.
I will of course continue to follow this situation very closely and urge Ministers and UK officials to keep up their important diplomatic work.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me about these important matters.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking