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China is facing mounting scrutiny by the international community over allegations of human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims and other minorities in Xinjiang – something Beijing has denied. A cross-party parliamentary group has outlined proposals to give campaigners the right to petition and seek redress in UK courts for cases of alleged genocide. This would be a first in the UK legal system with matters usually determined by the United Nations (UN).

The Foreign Office has insisted it is for international bodies, such as the international criminal court to decide.

Sir Iain Duncan Smith, the co-founder of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, is leading the proposal and has called for tougher action against Beijing.

The former Tory leader said: “The Government has still not got it on human rights in China.

“If an African country was doing what China is doing, ministers would be all over it, but because of China’s size and influence at the UN, it runs away.

“It is time we stood up against the abuses under way within China.”

The proposals could also have huge ramifications for the UK’s trading relationship with China.

Beyond Brexit, the UK can continue its existing trade deal with China it currently has from being a member of the EU.

According to the Henry Jackson Society think-tank, the UK is strategically dependent on China for vital products, such as pharmaceuticals, meaning more than 50 percent of imports of certain goods come from one country.

With a review set to take place, the UK parliamentary pro-Uighur alliance is calling for ministers to tear up a trade bill, in the event a UK judge makes a preliminary determination of genocide taking place in China.

A new amendment to the bill, to include any future ruling by a UK judge on allegations of Genocide in China, is set to be voted on by peers next month.

Former Tory cabinet ministers Sayeeda Warsi and Michael Forsyth, are among the high profile supporters.

In the Commons it is understood up to 40 Tory MPs are set to back the amendment.

Genocide was first recognised as a crime under international law in 1946 by the United Nations General Assembly.

According to article II of the Genocide Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.

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Speaking at a ruling Communist Party conference on Xinjiang at the weekend, he said: “The sense of gain, happiness, and security among the people of all ethnic groups has continued to increase.”

President Xi said it was necessary to educate Xinjiang’s population on an understanding of the Chinese nation and guide “all ethnic groups on establishing a correct perspective on the country, history and nationality”.

He added: “Practice has shown that the party’s strategy for governing Xinjiang in the new era is completely correct.”



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