The National Party welcomes and affirms the joint statement from the New Zealand and Australia Foreign Ministers calling on China to grant ‘unfettered access to Xinjiang for United Nations experts, and other independent observers’, National’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson Gerry Brownlee says.
“In a phone conversation with the Chinese Ambassador to New Zealand, I was told China would facilitate this as soon as Covid-19 and terrorist threats subsided.
“Now is the time to welcome these observers.
“China has said allegations of human rights abuses on the Uyghur people in Xinjiang are lies and falsehoods, and accused the New Zealand and Australian Foreign Ministers of engaging in ‘the despicable tactic of smearing China’, while at the same time describing the joint statement as ‘entirely futile’.
“China can clear all this up by opening up to a UN investigative group.
“In the meantime, the New Zealand Government needs to reprise the Autonomous Sanctions Bill which could now easily pass in Parliament.
“This bill is similar to Magnitsky legislation other countries have adopted, allowing them to place specific sanctions on persons and entities involved in human rights abuses, and would allow New Zealand a more precise legislation authority to do the same.”