Human Rights Watch is one of the global organisations cataloguing the Chinese abuses against the Uyghur ethnic minority in Xinjiang.
It estimates that the Chinese government has been detaining civilians in a network of up to 400 facilities.
It comes as the News Letter reports that the university will neither reveal details of its funding arrangements with China nor condemn its actions in Xinjiang.
Read further details on that story here: NI university refuses to say how much cash it gets from communist tyranny
Human Rights Watch China director Sophie Richardson was blunt in her remarks to the News Letter.
“Reject Confucius Institutes,” she said.
“Refrain from having Confucius Institutes on campuses, as they are fundamentally incompatible with a robust commitment to academic freedom.”
She added: “I’ll confess to being puzzled at Ulster University’s comment about the financial relationship with the Confucius Institute being ‘commercially sensitive’.
“Confucius Institutes are not a commercial entity; they are in effect an arm of the Chinese government.
“I don’t know whether Ulster University is a public or a private institution, but regardless: is this commercially – or politically – sensitive?”
The House of Commons last Thursday voted – without any objections – to recognise the treatment of Uyghurs as amounting to “crimes against humanity and genocide”.
The motion was brought by Tory MP Nusrat Ghani, and during the discussion DUP MP Jim Shannon noted that “the religious activities of the country’s more than 70m Christians, 10m Falun Gong and 8m Tibetan Buddhists are also severely restricted” – adding that “much more needs to be done to hold the Chinese Communist Party to account”.
In terms of what this might involve, Sheldon Stone of the World Uyghur Congress suggested that NI’s MPs should press the government to extend sanctions on Chinese officials, lobby the UK Olympic Committee to make a statement ahead of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, and encourage companies to “gradually move their supply chains out of China”.
Click here for more from this reporter:
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers — and consequently the revenue we receive — we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.
Subscribe to newsletter.co.uk and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Ireland and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.
Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.