Exclusive – Rishi Sunak’s invite to China to attend his AI summit is a ‘slap in the face’ for Uyghur people who are suffering the world’s first ‘high tech genocide’ at the hands of Beijing’s oppressive regime, say campaigners
Rishi Sunak’s welcoming of China to his Artificial Intelligence summit is a ‘slap in the face’ for Uyghurs suffering the world’s ‘first high tech genocide’, say campaigners.
The Prime Minister is hosting an AI safety summit at Bletchley Park, the home of Britain’s Second World War code-breakers, both today and tomorrow.
But the gathering has been overshadowed by a furious row over China’s invitation to the meeting.
Wu Zhaohui, Beijing’s tech minister, spoke alongside UK Science Secretary Michelle Donelan at the summit this morning – despite fears about the Chinese government using AI against its own people, such as the Uyghurs in Xinjiang province.
Rahima Mahmut, the UK director of the World Uyghur Congress, told MailOnline how the communist regime in Beijing are ‘one of the biggest abusers of AI’.
Wu Zhaohui, Beijing’s tech minister, pictured alongside UK Science Secretary Michelle Donelan at the Artificial Intelligence summit
The Chinese minister was invited to attend the gathering despite fears about Beijing using AI against its own people
Rishi Sunak has defended inviting China to the summit as he insisted it was important to ‘engage’ with the Asian giant as ‘the world’s second AI power behind the US’
Rahima Mahmut, the UK director of the World Uyghur Congress , told MailOnline how the communist regime in Beijing are ‘one of the biggest abusers of AI’
‘As Uyghurs we are facing the first high tech genocide,’ Ms Mahmut said, as she referred to the Nazi Holocaust as the ‘first industrial genocide’.
Ms Mahmut described how Uyghurs – a group of around 12 million people, mostly Muslim, who live in China’s Xinjiang province – were used ‘like rats’ in the development of facial recognition systems.
She branded the PM’s invite to China to attend the AI summit as a ‘slap in the face’ for people who are ‘oppressed and suffering from this high tech abuse’.
‘These tyrants are using it completely for their own interests – that’s to control, to terrorise, to besiege the people who they brand as “untrustworthy” and “suspicious” and even “terrorists”,’ Ms Mahmut said of the Chinese state.
In 2021, the House of Commons declared that Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minorities in Xinjiang are being subjected to genocide.
The Uyghur World Congress, which was nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, has warned about how the Chinese Communist Party uses both AI and other technologies, such as genomics, as tools of repression.
In March this year, the US added part of the Chinese genetics firm BGI Genomics to a trade blacklist due to a ‘significant risk’ they contibute to government surveillance.
It has previously been claimed that BGI was collecting genetic data from millions of women for sweeping research on the traits of populations, as well as collaborating with China’s military.
The firm denied allegations of wrongdoing.
Ms Rahmut, also executive director of the campaign group Stop Uyghur Genocide, expressed fears about facial recognition technology being used to monitor the movements of Uyghur people across China.
‘We’ve heard many, many stories about how Uyghurs, when they travelled to mainland China, at train stations when they pass cameras and suddenly the alarm goes off,’ she said.
‘They then have to wait until police come and they then search them, investigate them, until they feel that they are okay to continue their journey.
‘This is absolutely horrifying racial profiling, which is illegal under international law.
‘This shouldn’t be accepted as normal. But for Uyghur people we have to accept it as normal.’
The Prime Minister is hosting an AI safety summit at Bletchley Park, the home of Britain’s Second World War code-breakers, both today and tomorrow
Mr Sunak come under intense pressure from senior Tory MPs – including Liz Truss and Sir Iain Duncan Smith – over China’s attendance at the meeting
The Stop Uyghur Genocide campaign took their protest from Parliament to Bletchley today to coincide with the start of the AI summit
The PM has come under intense pressure from Tory MPs over China’s attendance at the Bletchley Park summit.
Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith – who has been sanctioned by Beijing over his raising of human rights concerns in Xinjiang – has warned that China ‘poses the single biggest threat’ to the West in the development of AI.
Ex-PM Liz Truss said she was ‘deeply disturbed’ by the Government welcoming China to the summit as she blasted Beijing’s ‘cavalier attitude’ to international laws.
Mr Sunak has defended inviting China to the summit as he insisted it was important to ‘engage’ with the Asian giant as ‘the world’s second AI power behind the US’.
‘You should certainly try and engage with them because a proper solution to AI over time is going to require an international solution,’ the PM said last week.
He hopes his summit will see countries and businesses consider the risks of AI ahead of more powerful generations of the technology being released next year.
There are also planned talks on how the dangers of AI can be mitigated through international cooperation.
But Ms Mahmut disputed Mr Sunak’s stance.
‘If these kinds of engagements worked, China wouldn’t have been committing genocide, crimes against humanity, my people,’ she added.
‘China should be held accountable for abusing these technologies, not given the honour to be in the room.
‘When you invite people you are treating them like equals, like they are normal, like they’re not criminals.
‘Do you ever invite or communicate or negotiate or have dialogue with criminals? You don’t.’
She warned that China would use the summit as an ‘opportunity to spread their own propaganda’ and their ‘lies’.
Source: Read Full Article