Canada’s parliament declares China’s treatment of Uighurs ‘genocide’

Canada's parliament declares China's treatment of Uighurs 'genocide'
Security guards stand at the gates of what is officially known as a vocational skills education centre in Huocheng County in Xinjiang. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: Canada’s House of Commons has voted overwhelmingly to declare China’s treatment of its minority Uighurs a genocide.

The motion – which passed 266 to 0 – was supported by all opposition parties and a handful of lawmakers from the governing Liberal Party.

Canadian Prime Minister Justice Trudeau and most members of his cabinet abstained.

The motion makes Canada just the second country after the US to recognise China’s actions against Uighurs as genocide.

Lawmakers of the country also voted to pass an amendment asking Canada to call on the International Olympic Committee to move the 2022 Winter Olympics from Beijing “if the Chinese government continues this genocide”.

Prime Minister Trudeau has so far been hesitant to label Beijing’s actions against the Uighur minority in Xinjiang a genocide, calling the term “extremely loaded” and saying further examination was needed before a decision could be made.

Just one member of Trudeau’s cabinet, Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau, appeared in parliament for the vote. Mr Garneau said while speaking in the House of Commons that he had abstained “on behalf of the government of Canada”.

Opposition leader Erin O’Toole said while speaking ahead of the vote that the move 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”.

In an open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau earlier this month asking him to “stand up to China”, Mr O’Toole noted the recent banning of BBC World News from China.

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