The Canadian House of Commons has labeled China’s treatment of the Uyghurs as genocide. After the United States, Canada is the second country in the world to achieve this qualification.
Liberal Prime Minister Trudeau and part of his cabinet were not present at the vote. Some coalition members and the entire opposition voted in favor of the motion. The Secretary of State abstained.
The vote will most likely lead to tensions between Canada and China. In 2019, a diplomatic feud between the two countries sprang up after the arrest of a Chinese businesswoman in Canada. The Chinese ambassador to Canada last weekend warned the Canadian authorities “not to interfere in internal affairs”.
Block: no genocide
Possibly more than a million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities are locked up in prison camps and detention centers in China’s Xinjiang region. That makes it the largest mass detention of ethnic minorities since World War II. According to testimonials and human rights organizations, women are forced to have abortions or sterilization to counter population growth.
The Netherlands has not yet labeled the treatment as genocide, Minister Blok of Foreign Affairs wrote to the Lower House last week. There are large-scale human rights violations such as the imposition of birth restrictions, “but to qualify as genocide it is necessary that [het] has been imposed with genocidal intent, “said Blok.
The Dutch government has repeatedly called on China to admit international observers to the Xinjiang region, but this has not been followed up.
Correspondent Sjoerd den Daas was in the Xinjiang region last year and made an account of it, as best as he could:
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