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Parliamentary questions
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20 March 2019
Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini
Question reference: E-000162/2019

As mentioned in the reply to Written Question E-004540/2018, the EU is extremely concerned about the situation in Xinjiang, especially regarding the existence of political re-education camps and the associated mass detentions without legal justifications.

The EU has raised its concerns regarding freedom of religion and belief, the rights of persons belonging to minorities, and the situation in Xinjiang on several occasions at the bilateral and multilateral levels.

In line with the European Parliament Urgency Resolution on Mass arbitrary detention of Uyghurs and Kazakhs in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, the EEAS Spokesperson made a Statement on 26 October 2018 referring to the gravity of the situation and calling on China to implement the recommendations enclosed in the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

A number of Member States have addressed recommendations to China during the Universal Periodic Review of China which took place on 6 November 2018. At this stage, the use of sanctions has not been envisaged in this context.

From 11-13 January, an EEAS team of three officials visited Xinjiang (Urumqi and Kashgar), with the agreement and facilitation of the central and provincial authorities. They were granted extensive supervised access to various sites. The visit provided additional insight into the situation in Xinjiang and into China's position, but did not invalidate the EU's concerns regarding the human rights situation in Xinjiang.

The EU attaches great importance to the respect of freedom of religion or belief and expression, as well as the rights of persons belonging to ethnic minorities, and will continue to raise concerns regarding the situation in Xinjiang and developments of the overall human rights situation in China with the Chinese government as appropriate at all levels.

Last updated: 3 April 2019Legal notice