British lawmakers from various political fields called on the prime minister to partially boycott the Winter Olympics and the cotton trade ban.
A group of influential British lawmakers urged the government to take tougher action on China’s treatment of ethnic minorities, including a partial boycott of the Winter Olympics and the cotton trade ban.
In a report after months of investigation, the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee recommended exploring the feasibility of the International Criminal Court investigating suspected crimes involving Uighur Muslims and others in Xinjiang.
The cross-party committee led by Tom Tugendhat, a Conservative politician, stated in a report that the “atrocities” in Xinjiang “represent an extremely urgent international crisis that no civilized government can believe. “.
It called on the government to accept the views expressed by members of Congress in a symbolic vote in April that minorities there are suffering from genocide and crimes against humanity, and to take stronger action to “end these crimes.”
The cross-party group hopes that the UK will use all diplomatic means to pressure Beijing to allow international observers, especially the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, to enter Xinjiang.
It also supports rapid asylum procedures for people fleeing persecution in the region, and forms an alliance of “asylum countries” with Western allies.
“It’s time for big boy politics,” said Alicia Karnes, also a member of the Conservative Party committee. “We are the mother of all parliaments. If we are unwilling to speak up for others who are trying to keep silent, what will parliament do?”
Human rights organizations believe that at least 1 million Uighurs and other ethnic minorities, mainly Muslims, are detained in camps in Xinjiang, where China has also been accused of forcibly sterilizing women and forced labor.
Beijing denies all allegations of abuse and insists that its policies in Xinjiang are necessary to combat violent “extremism.”
In their 37-page report-No More: Britain’s Responsibility for Acting on Atrocities in Xinjiang and Other Regions-British MPs believe that the “really terrible” crimes that are occurring are “International Calls to Action”.
In its proposed response, it urged the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ensure that Beijing “takes the consequences” when it hosts the 2022 Winter Olympics.
The committee hopes that ministers and dignitaries skip the opening and closing ceremonies, discourage British companies from sponsoring or advertising at events, and encourage fans and tourists to stay away.
On Wednesday, Johnson stated that he had no intention of boycotting the Olympics and told lawmakers that he “instinctively” opposed the sports boycott.
Johnson said: “This country is a world leader in condemning Xinjiang for human rights violations, imposing sanctions on those responsible, and making companies responsible for imported goods produced by forced labor in Xinjiang.”
At the same time, the report urges the government to explore a ban on the import of all cotton products related to Xinjiang, which supplies most of China’s cotton.
It is estimated that more than 570,000 people in Xinjiang are forced to pick cotton.
It also hopes that surveillance companies like Hikvision will be banned from doing business in the UK. Hikvision regarded the detention camps there as providing monitoring equipment.
The United States, which accuses Beijing of genocide in Xinjiang, has imposed various trade sanctions on producers and users of cotton and tomato products and hair products (such as woven fabrics) from the region.
Last month, it also banned the import of solar panel materials from a Chinese company and imposed restrictions on four other companies suspected of using forced labor in Xinjiang.
Committee Chairman Tugendhat said: “We still have time to make these choices. If we choose not to do so, what we do is to let dragons become more and more deeply integrated into our national lives.”