(TibetanReview.net, Feb23’21) – It is now official in Canada, as it already has been in the USA, that China is committing genocide in East Turkestan – known as Xinjiang under Chinese rule – following the adoption of a motion to this effect in the country’s parliament by overwhelming majority on Feb 22. Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and most members of his cabinet abstained due to fears of diplomatic backlash from China, although this is likely to make little difference to Beijing.
Canada’s House of Commons voted 266-0 for the motion brought by the opposition Conservative Party. Liberal backbenchers widely backed the motion, noted Reuters Feb 22.
Also, the motion was amended just before the vote to call on the International Olympic Committee to move the 2022 Winter Olympics from Beijing if the abysmal treatment of religious minorities in Xinjiang continues.
Citing testimony, documents and media reports of human rights abuses against Uighurs, Conservative lawmaker Michael Chong said: “We can no longer ignore this. We must call it for what it is — a genocide.”
The report noted that Trudeau was reluctant to use the word “genocide”, suggesting that seeking broad consensus among Western allies on Chinese human rights issues would be the best approach. However, following the Feb 22 vote, he will come under pressure to act on the motion, the report noted.
The non-binding motion marks the latest escalation in Canada-China relations, which have soured over recent years, including over the detention of Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou pending a hearing for her deportation to the USA to face banking fraud allegations.
Former US President Donald Trump had, on his last full day in office last month, said China had committed “genocide and crimes against humanity” against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.
And the Biden administration is trying to ensure that the genocide declaration is upheld, the report said, citing his pick to be ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield.