Plight of Uighur Muslims should be "canary in the coal mine" for UK - Tom Tugendhat

18 July 2020, 14:58

Tom Tugendhat on the duty of the UK in addressing plight of Uighur Muslims

By Seán Hickey

The Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee was adamant the UK has to call out the atrocities of the Chinese Communist Party against Uighur Muslims.

Tom Tugendhat MP was speaking to Iain Dale about the millions of Uighur Muslims being held in "reeducation camps" in Western China and what the UK should do about it. Iain has spoken about the subject long before the media outcry on the subject in the past, conducting a documentary on the subject in September 2019.

Mr Tugendhat began by insisting that the reluctance in some quarters to call out the atrocities of the Chinese government as nonsensical and there should be more attention being put on the subject.

"There are a lot of people hiding behind oh well, China's a huge country and we really can't annoy them and we really must be careful of our trading relationships." He began, but called on people to take into consideration the presence of "camps that have a horrible echo of the 1930s all over Western China - it's extremely worrying."

Iain reminded Mr Tugendhat that "the United Nations has done very little about this" and have even allowed China to push their influence into Africa, which is "threatening to destabilise the world order."

The Foreign Affairs Select Committee chair agreed, noting that "we're seeing the international rules based currently being undermined."

The plight of Uighur Muslims in China has come to the forefront of conversation
The plight of Uighur Muslims in China has come to the forefront of conversation. Picture: PA


"China is seeking to assert its place in the world as its second largest economy, that is understandable. What is not acceptable is breaking the rest of the system and breaking the rule of law" said Mr Tugendhat.

"What we're seeing inside China should be the warning the absolute canary in the coal mine for all of us."

Mr Tugendhat told listeners to think about the supposed inaction of institutions such as the Muslim and Catholic communities in criticising the Chinese regime and encouraged people to "ask yourself, why the silence."

Harping back on his initial points, the chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee said that "sadly we know the answer, but it's for us to call it out."