Madrid, 23 years old (Europe Press)
Canada’s House of Commons voted Monday to label the Chinese government’s actions against the Uyghurs as “genocide.”
In total, 266 of the 338 deputies voted in favor of accusing China of carrying out a genocidal campaign against the Uyghur Muslim minority, as well as other Turkish Muslims, in the western region of Xinjiang.
For Canadian MPs, these actions by the authorities are in line with the definition of genocide in the United Nations Genocide Convention of 1948.
Despite the overwhelming majority that won the initiative, neither Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, nor his government came to vote, with the exception of Foreign Minister Mark Garneau, who abstained from voting “in the name of the Government of Canada,” according to CBC.
The non-binding proposal approved also calls on the government to pressure the International Olympic Committee so that the 2022 Winter Olympics do not take place in Beijing.
The initiative, put forward by the conservative opposition, did not align well with the Chinese government, whose ambassador to Canada, Kong Peiyu, had previously denounced the vote as an interference by the North American country in China’s internal affairs.
Previous relations between Ottawa and Beijing were already tense, although this measure portends that this tension may increase. More than two years ago, Canadian authorities arrested Huawei CEO Meng Wanzhou, to whom China retaliated by jailing Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.
Organizations like Human Rights Watch have denounced the persecution of Uighurs in China, particularly in the Xinjiang region.
Since 2016, up to a million members of this community and other Muslim minorities have been detained in so-called concentration camps, which the Chinese Communist Party calls “vocational training centers” or “re-education” facilities, but according to these humanitarian groups are concentration camps as part of Ethnic cleansing.
China categorically rejected this description and emphasized that Uyghurs live in peaceful coexistence with the rest of the population, as well as denying other reports about alleged sterilization campaigns against Uyghur women.