News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Sir Iain Duncan Smith and Lord Alton of Liverpool
Lord Alton and Iain Duncan Smith.jpg
UK News

Christian politicians, campaigners hit with sanctions from China after accusing regime of genocide

by Tola Mbakwe

Christians are included in a list of MPs and other British citizens who have been slapped with Chinese sanctions for speaking out against "gross human rights violations" against the Uighur people.

Senior Tory Sir Iain Duncan Smith and Lord Alton of Liverpool are among those targeted. 

Sir Iain said he considered being the target of Chinese sanctions as a "badge of honour" and argued it was the duty of those elected to speak out against human rights abuses in Hong Kong and China's "genocide of the Uighur people".

"Those of us who live free lives under the rule of law must speak for those who have no voice," the ex-cabinet minister said.

"If that brings the anger of China down upon me, then I shall wear that as a badge of honour."

Four groups have also been sanctioned. One of them is the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, which was founded by Christian human rights campaigner Benedict Rogers. 

He told Premier: "This is a badge of honour. It's a recognition that our work actually matters and makes a difference and is getting to the regime in Beijing. 

"But I think it's also a warning sign that this is not a regime that behaves in normal ways with normal diplomacy. It's not a regime that you can reason with. Therefore, this really calls for a complete review of our entire China policy in the UK."

The Far East powerhouse retaliated after Britain, the US, Canada and the European Union on Monday placed sanctions on Chinese officials deemed responsible for human rights abuses in the country's autonomous north-west territory.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab this week called the abuse of the Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang "one of the worst human rights crises of our time" and announced a package of travel bans and asset freezes against four senior officials and the state-run Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps Public Security Bureau (XPCC PSB).

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement early on Friday the move by Mr Raab was "based on nothing but lies and disinformation".

China's foreign ministry spokesperson said the nine people on the sanctions list and their immediate family members are "prohibited from entering the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao of China". Any assets they have will be frozen, and Chinese citizens and institutions are banned from doing business with them. The spokesperson warned that China reserves the right to take further measures.

"China is firmly determined to safeguard its national sovereignty, security and development interests, and warns the UK side not go further down the wrong path. Otherwise, China will resolutely make further reactions," the spokesperson added. 

A spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in the UK said "lies of the century" were being spread about what was going on in Xinjiang in order to "demonise China" and that it "strongly" opposed British sanctions.

Meanwhile, Rogers maintained that the human rights abuses China continues to allow against Uighur people are "absolutely appalling". 

"It is a modern-day genocide. There are between one and three million Uighur people who are in concentration camps in dire conditions subjected to sexual violence, torture, that slave labour, At the same time there's the shipping of Uighur people around the country into systems of slavery and they're often working in the supply chains of global multinational brands."

He urged Christians to pray for the issue: "Pray for a real change in China to end all of these atrocities and praying for the democratic world to really rethink its approach to China.

"I think for too long our governments have been too soft. They've prioritised short term trade deals instead of our values. There are signs that governments are beginning to shift and our own government has certainly moved compared to where it was a few years ago. 

"But pray that the free world would work together and standing together to confront this increasing repression in China and indeed aggression beyond China's borders, because if we don't tell our own freedoms will be affected as well."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he stands firmly with British officials who've been sanctioned. Meanwhile, Mr Raab said China "should allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights full access to verify the truth".

Listen to Premier's interview with Benedict Rogers here: 

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Set up a monthly gift

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email