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UK Foreign Secretary to visit China today, will raise human rights issues

This is the first visit of a UK Foreign Secretary to China in over five years

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United Kingdom Foreign Secretary James Cleverly will be in China on Wednesday for a bilateral visit during which he will raise Beijing's human rights obligations, including in relation to communities in Xinjiang and Tibet.
UK government said in a statement that Cleverly will hold bilateral meetings with China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Vice President Han Zheng and will discuss issues such as climate change.
This is the first visit of a UK Foreign Secretary to China in over five years
The statement said that the climate change issue cannot be tackled without China - as the world's largest investor in sustainable energy and the largest emitter of carbon, "the choices that China makes are critical to our collective ability to tackle this global problem".
The Foreign Secretary will state that China's global significance comes with a responsibility for international security - helping to end Russia's invasion of Ukraine, diffusing tensions in the South China Sea and ceasing malign activity in cyberspace.
During his visit, the Foreign Secretary will raise Beijing's human rights obligations, including in relation to communities in Xinjiang and Tibet. He will also challenge China on the erosion of autonomy, rights and freedoms in Hong Kong under the Beijing-imposed National Security Law, as well as other UK interests including the sanctions placed on UK MPs.
"It is important we manage our relationship with China across a range of issues. No significant global problem - from climate change to pandemic prevention, from economic instability to nuclear proliferation - can be solved without China," Cleverly said.
"China's size, history and global significance means they cannot be ignored, but that comes with a responsibility on the global stage. That responsibility means China fulfilling its international commitments and obligations," he added.
The statement said it is important to have discussions face to face and raise these issues directly with the centre of the Chinese system, making clear the UK's position with the decision makers in Beijing.
"This approach is in line with that of international partners, such as the recent visits of Five Eyes and European partners," it said.
The engagements come after a visit to the Philippines, where the British Foreign Secretary held talks on a range of subjects including maritime security, climate and trade.
This visit comes amid strains in Britain's relations with China.
In July, the UK's Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) released a report that claimed that the appointment of David Cameron as the role of Vice President of a billion-pound China-Uk investment fund and as Vice President of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was in some part engineered by the Chinese state.
Accusing the UK government of "failing to recognise the issues involved", the report stated that China has penetrated "every sector" of the UK's economy.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Aug 30 2023 | 1:11 PM IST

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