EU's Borrell urges China to grant United Nations team access to Xinjiang | DW

Ruben Hill
February 26, 2021

A state-owned Chinese Communist Party (CCP) propaganda outlet described British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab's call for "urgent and unfettered" access to the Xinjiang region of China as a "shameless imperialist act".

Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau registered a formal abstention on behalf of the government, drawing audible jeers over the video feed.

The motion - which passed 266 to 0 - was supported by all opposition parties and a handful of lawmakers from the governing Liberal Party. There were no votes against the motion, and two MPs formally abstained in what was considered a free vote for Liberal MPs.

Canadian MPs voted on Monday to label Beijing's treatment of Uighurs in Xinjiang as genocide, a move angrily slammed by China as a "malicious provocation".

Ruth Barnett, who arrived in the United Kingdom on the Kindertransport aged seven, and Serbia-born Dorit Oliver-Wolf tell Boris Johnson, that "any conscionable person can not ignore that the Uyghurs in Xinjiang and other groups are facing genocide".

Rights groups believe that at least one million Uighurs and other Turkic-speaking Muslim minorities are incarcerated in camps in the western region of Xinjiang.

While the motion is non-binding on the government, it is symbolic.

In December, the International Criminal Court rejected an application from Uighurs in exile to investigate China for alleged genocide and crimes against humanity.

Garneau said before and after the vote that Canada takes the genocide allegations against China seriously and wants them thoroughly investigated by a credible and independent global body.

"The people's interests are where the human rights cause starts and ends".

While there's no public agenda for the cabinet confab, it will nearly certainly include a final round of strategizing ahead of his call with Biden, which will also include a wider discussion with members of their respective cabinets, according to the Star's Susan Delacourt.

Conservative foreign affairs critic Michael Chong said Ottawa must contact the International Olympic Committee to request the 2022 Games be moved. He said in a statement there should be a credible worldwide investigation in response to allegations of genocide. "We welcome parliamentarians working together and debating this critical issue", reads the statement.

"When it comes to the application of the very specific word genocide, we simply need to ensure that all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed before a determination like that is made", Trudeau said last week.

They should not have shielded soldiers who committed war crimes overseas and incessant killings of innocent civilians, nor should they have interfered in the internal affairs of other countries and undermined the peaceful life of their people, the Chinese diplomat stressed.

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet and a Green party spokesman said they were on board too.

China has been facing mounting worldwide pressure over allegations of human rights violations of its Muslim minority, which the Chinese government denies.

"We remain deeply disturbed by horrific reports of human rights violations in Xinjiang, including the use of arbitrary detention, political re-education, forced labor, torture and forced sterilization", Garneau said.

"Today is a time for moral clarity", said Chong.

"We want to stand in solidarity in recognising the genocide against Uighurs", East Turkistan Australian Association president Nurmuhammad Majid told SBS News. Her arrest severely damaged relations between China and Canada.

Wang said the Chinese government has "lodged stern representations" with the Canadian side.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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