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Canada's parliament says China committed genocide against Muslim minorities

February 23, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 66.6%. 2 min read.

Canadian lawmakers have overwhelmingly approved a non-binding motion accusing China of committing genocide against its Muslim minorities in the western region of Xinjiang, further straining ties between the two countries.

Ottawa (CNN)Canadian lawmakers have overwhelmingly approved a non-binding motion accusing China of committing genocide against its Muslim minorities in the western region of Xinjiang, further straining ties between the two countries.

Though Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Cabinet abstained from Monday's vote, a majority of lawmakers -- including many Liberals who participated -- voted in support of the motion, which was brought by the opposition Conservative Party.

The motion, which recognizes "that a genocide is currently being carried out by the People's Republic of China against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims," also calls on the International Olympic Committee to move the forthcoming 2022 Winter Olympic Games from Beijing.

The United States government has estimated as many as 2 million people from Muslim minorities may have been detained in recent years by the Chinese government in mass detention centers in Xinjiang.

Diplomatic tensions between the two countries have risen in recent years, following Canada's arrest of Huawei's Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on behalf of the United States, as well as China's subsequent detention of Canadian's Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor for alleged espionage.

Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister, Marc Garneau, was the only cabinet minister to attend the vote in parliament, officially abstaining "on behalf of the Government of Canada. "

Opposition leader, Erin O'Toole, who led the effort on the parliamentary vote, called on the Trudeau government to support the determination, which while symbolic will not become government policy.

"It is shameful that Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government continue to refuse to call the horrific conduct by the Chinese Communist Party what it is: a genocide," said O'Toole Monday.

The parliamentary vote also makes Canada the first country to semi-officially support calls for Beijing to be stripped of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games over allegations of human rights abuses.

The Chinese government has repeatedly denied allegations of human rights abuses against Muslim minorities in Xinjiang.

At a news conference on Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin urged foreign countries to "stop interfering in China's internal affairs under the pretext of Xinjiang-related or human rights issues. "

In a statement released following the vote, Foreign Minister Garneau said that the Trudeau government believes that allegations against China need to be investigated by international experts.

Garneau's statement came on the same day as British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab called on China to give the United Nations "urgent and unfettered" access to Xinjiang so that accusations of human rights abuses could be independently investigated.

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