The Chinese governor of Xinjiang has pulled out of a trip to London after senior MPs protested over the persecution of Uyghur Muslims in his province.
Downing Street confirmed on Monday that Erkin Tuniyaz was set to meet officials in the Foreign Office, saying they would “make clear the UK’s abhorrence to Uyghur people’s treatment”.
It was also reported that the governor would travel to other capitals in Europe, including Paris and Brussels.
But Sky News understands the trip is now off after senior MPs, including former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith and prominent Labour backbencher Sir Chris Bryant, spoke out about the visit.
Sir Iain told Sky News the cancellation was down to the campaigning of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China – a cross-party international group of politicians “working towards reform on how democratic countries approach China”.
“IPAC campaigned to have him arrested if he came here, and in Europe too,” he said. “We succeeded and he has pulled out.”
China has been accused of interning one million Uyghurs in “re-education” centres in Xinjiang, and MPs declared they and other minorities in the province were being subjected to genocide by their government.
Sky News has contacted the Chinese Embassy in London for comment.
Responding to reports that the governor’s trip is off, Labour MP Chris Bryant said: “I hope he’s got the message that we are horrified by what China has been doing to the Uyghurs and will immediately stop the genocide.
“I fear however they will remain deaf to human rights.”