A group of 35 lawmakers from the United Kingdom , the European Union and other countries have called on their nations to create blacklists to block investors from funding companies associated with alleged human rights abuses against Uygurs and other ethnic minorities in China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region . The group, which includes politicians from Australia, Canada and India, urged their governments to create blacklists similar to the US Commerce Department’s Entity List to force investment firms to divest from companies with ties to forced labour and other alleged abuses in the region. “We cannot ignore the role that big banks play in financing the abuses taking place in Xinjiang ,” said Reinhard Bütikofer, German Green member of the European Parliament and a co-chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC). “If they are knowingly investing in firms perpetrating forced labour and other human rights abuses, then it is right that they should be held to account.” The Entity List bars sanctioned companies from buying from American suppliers. It is one of several sanctions initiatives used by the US. In June, US President Joe Biden expanded a list of Chinese companies in which American citizens are barred from investing over alleged ties to the Chinese military or sales of surveillance technology used against religious minorities and dissidents, including in Xinjiang . The letter-writing campaign, coordinated by IPAC, followed a Sunday Times report this month that HSBC was acting as a custodian for an investor in Xinjiang Tianye, a state-owned enterprise and a subsidiary of an entity facing US sanctions over Xinjiang. The shares were purchased through the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect programme. “HSBC has not invested in Xinjiang Tianye,” the bank said. “Many firms provide custodial services for non-US customers who want to trade in this or related stocks. This does not contravene any sanctions.” Joe Biden extends investment ban on firms linked to China’s military More than a dozen members of Britain’s Parliament called on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government to create an investment blacklist. The lawmakers also urged the government to meet with senior executives at HSBC to discuss whether trading shares in Xinjiang Tianye was in line with its commitments in its modern slavery statement, as required under Britain’s Modern Slavery Act. “As the Uygur people continue to suffer intolerable abuse at the hands of the Chinese government – which a growing number of independent legal experts believe to constitute genocide and crimes against humanity – we cannot allow our financial firms to bankroll these atrocities,” Helena Kennedy, a Labour peer in the House of Lords, and Iain Duncan Smith, a Conservative member of the House of Commons, wrote in a letter signed by the MPs. Kennedy and Smith were among a group of British politicians sanctioned by Beijing last year. Last week, Smith was among a cross-party group of backbenchers who called on the British government to impose additional sanctions and take other steps to address abuses in the Xinjiang region. On the same day, France’s parliament passed a motion calling for the French government to condemn China for “crimes against humanity and genocide”. British MPs voted in April 2021 to declare that China was committing genocide against the Uygurs. However, the UK government has declined to make a similar declaration, saying that lies with international courts and it has taken other actions to address abuses in the region.