UK critics of China won't back down despite 'warning shot', says Shadow Foreign Secretary

26 March 2021, 14:47 | Updated: 26 March 2021, 14:52

By Sam Sholli

Critics of China in the UK will not back down despite being sent a "warning shot" from the country in the form of sanctions, Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy has told LBC.

China has hit MPs and British groups with sanctions after the UK Government announced coordinated sanctions against four senior Chinese officials over human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.

Boris Johnson has said that he stands with those who have been hit by the sanctions from China, one of which is former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith.

Those targeted by the sanctions and their family members are now banned from entering China, Hong Kong and Macao. In addition, any property they have in China will be frozen, and Chinese citizens and institutions will be banned from doing business with them.

Speaking about the sanctions, Ms Nandy said: "I think this was intended as a warning shot to those critics of China in the UK, to try to persuade us to back down.

"But what this will do is precisely the opposite. It will strengthen our resolution to be more resolute [and] more vocal in pursuit of allowing access to Xinjiang in order to reveal the true extent of the atrocities being committed against the Uighurs.

"And it will strengthen our determination to stand up for the people of Hong Kong as well."

Reflecting more broadly on the UK's foreign policy approach to China, Ms Nandy said: "In relation to China this has now become a really critical issue of British national security.

"We've got to take a more consistent [and] coherent approach to the way that we deal with China."