“Incomprehensible omissions” - Government must listen to cross-party calls on China sanctions

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Free Tibet, the London-based campaign organisation that supports the Tibetan people’s struggle for freedom from Chinese government oppression, has welcomed calls from the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) group of elected officials from across the world, to place sanctions on Chen Quanguo, the architect of oppression against Tibetan and Uyghur people(1).

Sam Walton, Chief Executive of Free Tibet, said:

“Between them, Chen Quanguo’s minions, Chen Mingguo, Wang Junzheng, Wang Mingshan and Zhu Hailun are responsible for the security crackdowns, religious repression, indoctrination and surveillance that now loom over the Uyghur people and it is right that they have been sanctioned.

“However, the government must listen to this international non-partisan group of politicians and add Chen Quanguo and Wu Yingjie to the list of those sanctioned. The incomprehensible omissions of those who are responsible for turning Tibet into the least free country in the world sends a message to the Chinese government that Western governments are too scared to take action against anyone with real influence in the Politburo.”

The announcement comes after Free Tibet criticised the cowardice of Western governments for leaving Chen Quanguo out of a list of Chinese officials who were sanctioned for their role in the genocide in the so-called Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). While the UK, EU, USA and Canada were right to sanction Chen Quanguo’s minions Chen Mingguo, Wang Junzheng, Wang Mingshan and Zhu Hailun, it showed weakness not to target the man who several of those sanctioned report to, and who was given the opportunity to commit genocide(2) of the Uyghur people after creating a surveillance state in Tibet.

IPAC cited a number of policies Chen Quanguo, currently Chinese Communist Party Secretary for the XUAR, oversaw during his time as Party Secretary in Tibet, including mass surveillance, arbitrary detentions, torture and indoctrination, and called for sanctions against Chen Quanguo and his successor in Tibet, Wu Yingjie. Wu Yingjie has continued Chen’s policies in Tibet, which this year was recognised as the worst place in the world for political rights and civil liberties according to the US organisation Freedom House(3).

Members of IPAC in the UK include Conservative MP Tim Loughton, Labour MP Chris Bryant, Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael, and Green peer Baroness Bennet.

Since November 2020, Free Tibet has been leading the calls for the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office to use its powers to impose sanctions on Chen Quanguo(4), in collaboration with the Tibetan community in the UK and the World Uyghur Congress. 

Today (Wednesday), a group of Tibetan and Uyghur people have gathered outside the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in central London to share their feelings about the latest round of sanctions.



Photos from the gathering outside the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office are available on request.

Free Tibet representatives are available for interview.

Press contact - Will Hoyles, Media Officer, will@freetibet.org, 07772 512519


About Free Tibet:

Free Tibet is a London-based organisation established to support the Tibetan people’s struggle for freedom. Our vision is a free Tibet in which Tibetans are able to determine their own future and the human rights of all are respected.



  1. https://ipac.global/report-reveals-chinas-new-coercive-cradle-to-grave-strategies-in-tibet-mps-call-for-sanctions/

  2. https://www.jurist.org/news/2021/03/netherlands-joins-us-and-canada-in-declaring-chinese-treatment-of-uyghurs-genocide/

  3. https://freedomhouse.org/countries/freedom-world/scores?sort=asc&order=Total%20Score%20and%20Status 

  4. https://freetibet.org/take-action/ban-chen/campaign-updates