Procedure : 2019/2945(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B9-0249/2019

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 19/12/2019 - 6.5
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


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<TitreSuite>to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission</TitreSuite>

<TitreRecueil>pursuant to Rule 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure</TitreRecueil>

<Titre>on the situation of the Uyghurs in China (China Cables)</Titre>


<RepeatBlock-By><Depute>Phil Bennion, Abir Al‑Sahlani, Petras Auštrevičius, Malik Azmani, José Ramón Bauzá Díaz, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Gilles Boyer, Sylvie Brunet, Olivier Chastel, Katalin Cseh, Jérémy Decerle, Anna Júlia Donáth, Engin Eroglu, Klemen Grošelj, Christophe Grudler, Bernard Guetta, Antony Hook, Ivars Ijabs, Ondřej Kovařík, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Ulrike Müller, Javier Nart, Jan‑Christoph Oetjen, Dragoş Pîslaru, Frédérique Ries, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Monica Semedo, Susana Solís Pérez, Ramona Strugariu, Irène Tolleret, Yana Toom, Hilde Vautmans, Marie‑Pierre Vedrenne, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou</Depute>

<Commission>{Renew}on behalf of the Renew Group</Commission>


See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0246/2019


European Parliament resolution on the situation of the Uyghurs in China (China Cables)


The European Parliament,

 having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in China, in particular those of 26 November 2009 on China: minority rights and application of the death penalty[1], of 10 March 2011 on the situation and cultural heritage in Kashgar (Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China)[2], of 15 December 2016 on the cases of the Larung Gar Tibetan Buddhist Academy and Ilham Tohti[3], of 12 September 2018 on the state of EU-China relations[4], of 4 October 2018 on mass arbitrary detention of Uyghurs and Kazakhs in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region[5] and of 18 April 2019 on China, notably the situation of religious and ethnic minorities[6],

 having regard to the EU guidelines on the promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief, adopted by the Council on 24 June 2013,

 having regard to the joint statement of the 21st EU-China summit of 9 April 2019,

 having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 16 December 1966, which China signed in 1998 but has never ratified,

 having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

 having regard to the concluding observations of the report on China by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination,

 having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas in November 2019 leaked Chinese government documents detailed for the first time China’s systematic brainwashing of hundreds of thousands of Muslims in a network of high-security prison camps; whereas the Chinese Government has consistently claimed that the camps offer voluntary education and training; whereas the leaked documents give instructions to run the camps as high-security prisons, with strict discipline, punishments and no means of escape;

B. whereas since President Xi Jinping assumed power in March 2013, the human rights situation in China has continued to deteriorate; whereas the government has increased its hostility towards peaceful dissent, freedom of expression and religion, and the rule of law; whereas the Chinese authorities have detained and prosecuted hundreds of human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists;

C. whereas the Chinese authorities are conducting an increasingly intense campaign of mass internment, intrusive surveillance, political indoctrination and forced cultural assimilation;

D. whereas repression has intensified since the new regulations on religious affairs adopted at regional government level took effect on 1 February 2018; whereas under those regulations, public or even private demonstrations of religious and cultural affiliation might be considered extremist; whereas China is home to one of the largest populations of religious prisoners;

E. whereas the situation in Xinjiang, where 10 million Muslim Uyghurs live, has rapidly deteriorated since stability and control of Xinjiang were made a top priority of the Chinese authorities; whereas there is information suggesting that the Xinjiang camp system has been expanded into other parts of China;

F. whereas a sophisticated network of invasive digital surveillance has been developed, including facial recognition technology and data collection;

G. whereas the Chinese Government has refused numerous requests to send independent investigators to Xinjiang;

H. whereas the Governor of Xinjiang, Shohrat Zakir, claimed in December 2019 that all 1.5 million people in re-education and internment camps had been ‘returned to society’ without providing any proof;

1. Is deeply concerned about the increasingly repressive regime that Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities are facing, placing additional restraints on the constitutional guarantees of their right to freedom of cultural expression and religious belief, freedom of speech and expression and peaceful assembly and association; demands that the authorities respect these fundamental freedoms;

2. Urges the Chinese Government to immediately end the practice of arbitrary detention without charge, trial or conviction for a criminal offence, to close all camps and detention centres, and to immediately and unconditionally release the detained persons; insists that before any other statements concerning the release of prisoners are made, undeniable proof supporting that claim is made public;

3. Insists that the Chinese Government immediately publish a list of all those in detention and all those who have been released; urges the Chinese Government to release the full details of persons disappeared in Xinjiang to their families;

4. Calls for the immediate release of arbitrarily detained people and prisoners of conscience, including practitioners of Falun Gong, and for an end to enforced disappearances, and insists that all detained persons must be able to choose their legal representative and see their relatives, have access to medical assistance and have their cases investigated;

5. Calls on the Chinese authorities to uphold the linguistic, cultural, religious and other fundamental freedoms of the Uyghurs;

6. Calls on the Chinese authorities to allow free, meaningful and unhindered access to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region for independent media representatives and international observers, including for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the mandate holders of the UN Human Rights Council Special Procedures; believes that the EU and the Member States should take the lead during the next session of the UN Human Rights Council on a resolution establishing a fact-finding mission to Xinjiang;

7. Urges China to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;

8. Expresses its disappointment at the fact that the 37th round of the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue produced no substantial results; regrets, furthermore, that on 2 April 2019 the Chinese delegation did not take part in the continuation of the dialogue that provided for an exchange of views with civil society organisations;

9. Urges the VP/HR, the EEAS and the Member States to more intensively monitor the worrying human rights developments in Xinjiang, including increased government repression and surveillance, and to speak out against violations of human rights in China both privately and publicly; calls on the VP/HR to insist on an independent investigation into the scale and nature of the internment camp system and the numerous allegations of serious and systematic human rights violations;

10. Calls on the Council to consider adopting targeted sanctions and asset freezes against officials and entities responsible for the crackdown in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region;

11. Insists that the EU, its Member States and the international community halt all exports and technology transfers of goods and services that are being used by China to extend and improve its cyber surveillance and predictive profiling apparatus; believes that the EU and its Member States should encourage European companies to scrutinise their supply chains to make sure they are not implicated in forced labour and are not complicit in acts of repression against the Uyghur people;

12. Urges the EU Member States to take specific measures to protect Uyghur residents and citizens living in other countries from harassment and intimidation by the Chinese Government and to ensure that the rights and freedoms of residents and citizens of EU Member States are not violated by a foreign power;

13. Notes the imbalance in press access and freedom between the EU and China; calls on China to provide EU media outlets with the same rights and access that Chinese media outlets are afforded in the EU Member States;

14. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, and the Government and the Parliament of the People’s Republic of China.


[1] OJ CE 285, 21.10.2010, p. 80.

[2] OJ CE 199, 7.7.2012, p. 185.

[3] OJ C 238, 6.7.2018, p. 108.

[4] Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0343.

[5] Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0377.

[6] Texts adopted, P8_TA(2019)0422.

Last updated: 17 December 2019Legal notice - Privacy policy