The Parliament of Canada declares China’s treatment of Uighur genocide

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All the opposing parties and a few legislators from the governing Liberal Party supported the motion, which passed 266 to 0.

Prime Minister Trudeau and most cabinet members abstained.

The motion makes Canada the second country to recognize China’s action as genocide only after the United States.

Lawmakers also voted to vote for an amendment calling on Canada to move 2022 Winter Olympics from Peking to an International Olympic Committee, “if the Chinese government continues this genocide”

According to a Reuters report, China responded late Tuesday by condemning and rejecting Canada’s motion. Wang Wenbin, the Foreign Minister’s Speaker, quoted China as “stern representations” with Canada.
Mr Trudeau hesitated to describe China’s actions against the minority Uighur in Xinjiang as a genocide, to call it ‘extremely burdened,’ and to say that further consideration was needed before a decision could be made.

Only one member of his cabinet, Minister of Foreign Affairs Marc Garneau, came to the vote in Parliament. Mr Garneau said he had abstained “on behalf of the government of Canada” speaking in the House of Commons.

Speaking ahead of the vote, opposition leader Erin O’Toole said it was necessary to send a “clear and unequivocal signal that we will stand up for human rights and the dignity of human rights, even if it means sacrificing some economic opportunity” for human rights and dignity.

Mr. O’Toole announces the recent ban by BBC World News from China in an open letter to Mr. Trudeau earlier in the month calling him to stand up to China, a decision following the report by BBC alleging systematic rape, sexual abuse and torture at Xinjiang’s “re-education” camps in China.
The Chinese embassy in Canada Cong Peiwu had told the Canadian press earlier that the motion “interfering in [China’s] domestic affairs”

“We firmly oppose that because it runs counter to facts,” he said. “There’s nothing like genocide happening in Xinjiang at all.”

Rights groups believe that China has held up to one million Uighurs in what the state calls ‘re-educational camps’ in recent years.

Research from the BBC suggests that Uighurs are used as forced labor.

The symbolic motion of Canada does not set out further steps, but states that the Government of Canada must follow the leadership of its US neighbours.

Both former US Secretaries of State, Anthony Blinken and Mike Pompeo have declared genocide in China’s policies against Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in their west Xinjiang region.
The non-binding motion of Monday marks the recent escalation of Canada-China relations in recent years.

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