Statement concerning the deterioration of human rights and religious freedom in China

As the Co-Chairs of the British-Taiwanese All-Party Parliamentary Group, we have for many years supported Taiwan’s remarkable achievements in human rights, democracy and the rule of law. A beacon for freedom and democracy in Asia, Taiwan enjoys freedom of speech, press, assembly, religion, political participation, the rule of law as well as same-sex marriage, and serves as a model for China’s social reform and democratic development.

However, we are alarmed by the rapid and significant deterioration of human rights, political reform, freedom of religion and expression in China. The Chinese authorities have tightened control over citizens by imprisoning millions of Uighurs in labour camps, suppressing religious groups including Muslims, Catholics and Falung Gong followers, and detaining dissidents such as prominent human rights lawyers and religious figures. Hong Kong, where over a million people have recently taken to the streets to protest against the proposed extradition bill, serves as another warning of China’s constant attempt to interfere and suppress freedom and democracy.

China’s aggressive actions toward other countries internationally and increasing repression of its own people domestically pose a serious threat not only to Taiwan and its Asian neighbours, but also other democracies around the world. We believe that now more than ever, it is imperative for the UK and other likeminded countries to take actions to uphold the democratic values and ideals we share and cherish.

Rogan
Lord Rogan   

         

Question / Taiwan: World Health Assembly

Q Asked by Lord Blencathra
Asked on: 14 May 2019

Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Taiwan: World Health Assembly / HL15706

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the World Health Organisation about Taiwan being excluded from the World Health Assembly; and what plans they have to provide Taiwan, in its absence, with information from that Assembly.

A Answered by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Answered on: 22 May 2019

Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department of Health officials have made a number of senior-level representations with like-minded partners about Taiwan’s exclusion from the World Health Assembly and technical meetings of the World Health Organisation. The UK supports Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organisations where statehood is not a prerequisite and where Taiwan can make a valuable contribution, such as global health. In line with our longstanding unofficial relationship, we have a wide range of exchanges with Taiwan, including on global health issues.

Question / China: Taiwan

Q Asked by Andrew Rosindell (Romford)
Asked on: 09 May 2019

Foreign and Commonwealth Office
China: Taiwan / 252583

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what diplomatic steps he is taking to improve relations between China and Taiwan.

A Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 16 May 2019

We have a constructive and positive dialogue with China on major global issues, which enables us to have an open and frank discussion on difficult issues. We are clear in our discussions with China that our longstanding policy on Taiwan has not changed: we consider the Taiwan issue one that should be settled by the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait through constructive dialogue. We have made clear our concern at any activity by China and Taiwan that risks destabilising the status quo.

Debate / Lord Mayor’s Show: Taiwan

Asked by Baroness Barker in Lords Chamber on 1 May 2019:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the decision of the Lord Mayor’s Show 2019 to decline an application to participate by the representative office of the government of Taiwan.

Please read the complete debate on these websites:

 

Co-Chairs’ statement on Chinese fighter jets crossing median line of the Taiwan Strait

On 31 March, two Chinese J-11 fighter jets of the People Liberation Army Air Force intentionally crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait south-west of Penghu, intruding upon a maritime boundary that has been abided by both sides for many years, and as a result damaging the cross-strait status quo. As co-chairs of the British-Taiwanese All Party Parliamentary Group, we are seriously concerned about the rise of tension in cross-strait relations. It is evident that regional peace and stability is at stake.

We believe that prosperity and stability across the Taiwan Strait is hugely important to the East Asian region and the world as a whole, and we must stress that maintaining peace in the region is in the common interest of all parties concerned. Any unilateral attempts to disrupt the status quo are harmful and do not contribute to cross-strait stability. Restraint is essential for good relations, and we will continue to support all efforts to defend the cross-strait status quo.

evans    Rogan
Nigel Evans MP                             Lord Rogan   

         

Question / Taiwan: World Health Organisation

Q Asked by Martin Vickers (Cleethorpes)
Asked on: 02 April 2019

Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Taiwan: World Health Organisation / 239932

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations his Department has made to the World Health Organisation on (a) Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Assembly as an observer this year and (b) Taiwan’s participation in technical meetings of the World Health Organisation.

A Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 10 April 2019

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office continues to support the Department for Health in lobbying for Taiwan’s participation in World Health Organisation (WHO) meetings. Her Majesty’s Government is working with likeminded countries to lobby the WHO at official level to issue an invitation to Taiwan to observe the World Health Assembly (WHA) in May. The UK continues to support Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organisations where statehood is not a prerequisite and where Taiwan can make a valuable contribution. The UK believes the WHA and the related technical meetings of the WHO meet these criteria.