The Canadian House of Commons has called the Chinese treatment of the Uyghurs 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 for the vote. Some members of the coalition and the entire opposition approved the motion. The Secretary of State abstained.
The vote will most likely cause tensions between Canada and China. In 2019, a diplomatic row between the two countries has already erupted the arrest of a Chinese businesswoman in Canada. The Chinese ambassador to Canada last weekend warned Canadian authorities “not to interfere in internal affairs.”
Block: no genocide
Perhaps more than a million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities are held in prison camps and detention centers in China’s Xinjiang region. This makes it the largest mass detention of ethnic minorities since World War II. According to testimonials in human rights organizations women are forced to have an abortion or sterilization to combat population growth.
The Netherlands has yet to call the treatment genocide, Foreign Minister Blok wrote last week in the House of Representatives. There are large-scale human rights violations such as the imposition of birth restrictions, “but to be characterized as genocide, it must be established that [het] was imposed with genocidal intent, ”Blok said.
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 reported on it as best he could: