(TibetanReview.net, Feb21’21) – Ahead of voting on declaring a finding of genocide against ethnic Muslim Uighurs in the Xinjiang province, Cong Peiwu, the Chinese ambassador to Canada, has been asking Canadian lawmakers to throw out the motion, calling the issue his country’s internal affair. He has dismissed the widespread allegations over his country’s treatment of Uighurs, reiterating his government’s view that it had acted to stamp out terrorist activity in the province, noted the cbc.ca Feb 20.
The Conservatives tabled a motion in Parliament this past week calling on Canada to formally declare crimes against Uighur Muslims in China a genocide. That motion may come to a non-binding vote as early as Feb 22, the report said.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole has said the motion and subsequent vote was needed 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.”
Cong has called the accusations from the United Nations and others that millions of people in detention camps in Xinjiang were being subjected to forced labour and sterilization unfounded China-bashing.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stopped short of agreeing with US officials, saying a proper determination of whether what was going on in Xinjiang amounted to genocide was needed. While human rights advocates and legal scholars have argued that the violations amount to a genocide, Trudeau has called “genocide” a loaded word that has to be carefully used.
Calling the allegations against his government nothing but clash of core values, Cong has said, “I think we respect your values. But I think our core values should be: respect facts. And to stop spreading disinformation or even rumours.”
To China, the issue is not just the use of the term “genocide”. It opposes any criticism of its human rights violations, including especially in the so-called ethnic minority regions where a brutal assimilation campaign in the name of Sinicization is currently underway, as interference in its internal affairs.