British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab suggested Britain may boycott the Olympics for the first time, over China's treatment of the Uighur Muslims, The Telegraph reported on Tuesday. The suggestion comes as a growing number of nations urge Beijing to respect human rights of the minority Uighurs.
Raab, at a foreign affairs select committee, said it was clear that there is evidence of serious and egregious human rights violations, the newspaper reported.
I would say let's gather the evidence, work with our international partners and consider in the round what further action we need to take, he told the MPs, according to the report.
Meanwhile US, Japan and many EU nations, 39, joined a call on Tuesday urging China to respect the human rights of minority Uighurs, and also expressing concern about the situation in Hong Kong.
We call on China to respect human rights, particularly the rights of persons belonging to religious and ethnic minorities, especially in Xinjiang and Tibet, said German UN ambassador Christoph Heusgen, who led the initiative during of a meeting on human rights.
Among the 39 signatory countries were the United States, most of the EU member states including Albania and Bosnia, as well as Canada, Haiti, Honduras, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
We are gravely concerned about the human rights situation in Xinjiang and the recent developments in Hong Kong, the declaration said.
We call on China to allow immediate, meaningful and unfettered access to Xinjiang for independent observers including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, it added.
Immediately afterward, the envoy for Pakistan stood up and read out a statement signed by 55 countries, including China, denouncing any use of the situation in Hong Kong as an excuse for interference in China's internal affairs.
Addressing Germany, the United States and Britain, Chinese ambassador Zhang Jun criticized what he called their hypocritical attitude and demanded that the three countries put away your arrogance and prejudice, and pull back from the brink, now.