Government Statement on Xinjiang

12th January 2021

Andrew Mitchell urges Foreign Secretary to keep Magnitsky sanctions option open in regard to our relationship with China.

Mr Andrew Mitchell (Sutton Coldfield) (Con)
My right hon. Friend has made a very well measured and balanced statement. Of course we seek a constructive relationship with China, but it has to be within the rules-based system. As he has so eloquently made clear, global Britain is values-driven or it is nothing. May I add to those who have urged him to keep on the table continuously the Magnitsky provisions, which he, I and others worked so hard to get through the House, to ensure that those provisions are consistently kept under review? On the subject of Jesus College, of which I am also an alumnus, may I make it clear that there are two China centres? My hon. Friend the Member for Tonbridge and Malling (Tom Tugendhat) was referring to the one run by Peter Nolan.
Dominic Raab 
I thank my right hon. Friend for his knowledge and for his commitment on this issue. He is absolutely right in what he said. I thank him for his support. He is right to say that we need a balanced approach. China is here to stay as an asymmetrical economic influence. There are positives in the relationship as well as the negatives. In particular, it has taken steps on climate change, which is very important. It is the biggest net emitter but also the biggest investor in renewables. We want to try to have a constructive relationship. What I have set out today, what this Government believe in and what this Prime Minister believes in is that we will not duck when the issue of our security is at stake and we will not duck when our values are at stake. Of course we will not take the Magnitsky sanctions lever off the table, and of course it is evidence-driven in relation to the particular individuals; that has to be collated very carefully. Only one country so far has instituted sanctions, but I can assure him that it is not off the table.