On Monday (22 February), Canadian MPs adopted an inter-binding motion calling on the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to officially label China the treatment of its Uighur minority “genocide”
The motion was unanimously adopted in the House of Commons by 266 votes out of 338 by opposition Conservatives. The other parliamentarians, including ministers of the Liberal government of Trudeau, abstained.
The motion acknowledges that “Uighurs in China have been and are being subject to genocide” The motion
In particular, the MPs cited reports that the Muslim minority in Xinjiang were forced to undergo “political and anti-religious indoctrination” “forced labour” and the “destruction of cultural sites”
An amendment has also been made to the motion requesting that, if “genocide” continues, the 2022 Peking Summer Olympics be moved.
More than 1 million Uighurs in political rehabilitation camps are, according to international experts. Beijing denied this and said that, following attacks attributed to the community, they are vocational training centers designed to help Uygars get rid of terror and separatism.
“Now Conservatives are calling on the Liberal government to respect Parliament and officially recognise the genocide happening in China,” said opposition leader Erin O’Toole, who has been urging Ottawa for months to reinforce its position on Beijing.
In a statement, Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau said that the government of Canada takes genocide allegations extremely seriously and that Canada favors a common approach on this issue with its allies.
Trudeau said that there were important reports from Xinjiang of violations of human rights on Friday.
After a meeting of the G7, the Prime Minister said that Canada had consulted the use of the word “genocide” with its international allies, which was already used by the administration of former US President Donald Trump.
Canada-China has slowed down in late 2018 by the arrest in which two Canadians – former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor – were arrested by executive Meng Wanzhou on a US warrant, and China’s arrests were held on what Ottawa referred to as a retaliation.