And Rap told BBC, “It is clear that there are grave and shocking violations of human rights, and that is very shocking.”
On reports of women being forced into “sterility” and establishing “re-education camps”, the minister indicated that she “remembers something we haven’t seen in a very long time, and this is happening by a prominent member of the international community who wants to be respected.”
“We want a serious relationship with China, but we cannot see such behavior without denouncing it,” he added.
The comments came at a time when relations between London and Beijing are very tense, which began with the imposition of the National Security Law in Hong Kong by China, and the UK’s exclusion of the Chinese giant Huawei from participating in supplying the fifth generation telecommunications network in the country after Washington exerted pressure.
For his part, Chinese Ambassador to the United Kingdom Liu Xiaoming, in an interview with “BBC” denied widespread violations of the Uyghur minority, after a video posted on social media raised genocide charges.
“The Uyghurs enjoy a peaceful and harmonious coexistence with other ethnic groups,” he said.
“We treat all ethnic groups on an equal footing,” the Chinese official added.
Britain considered the national security law, imposed by China in Hong Kong, to be a “flagrant violation” of autonomy in the region.
The United Kingdom promised to extend immigration rights from Hong Kong and open the door to obtaining British citizenship for millions of city residents, which Beijing condemned as a “blatant interference” in its internal affairs.
Since 1949, Beijing has controlled East Turkestan, home to the Muslim Uighur minority, and calls it “Xinjiang,” meaning “new frontiers.”
In August 2018, a UN human rights committee reported that China is holding about a million Uyghur Muslims in secret camps in East Turkistan.
According to official statistics, there are 30 million Muslims in China, of whom 23 million are Uighurs, while unofficial reports estimate the number of Muslims at nearly 100 million.