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Although Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet abstained in Monday’s vote, a majority of lawmakers – including many Liberals who participated in it – voted in favor of the motion, which was brought forward by the Party. conservative of the opposition.

The motion, which recognizes “that genocide is currently being carried out by the People’s Republic of China against Uyghurs and other Turkish Muslims,” ​​also calls on the International Olympic Committee to move the next 2022 Winter Olympics from Beijing.

Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, 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 this resolve, which, while symbolic, will not become government policy. “It is shameful that Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government continue to refuse to label the horrific conduct of the Chinese Communist Party for what it is: genocide,” O’Toole said Monday.

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

More than 100 human rights organizations have come together to advocate for a political boycott of the Beijing 2022 Games, due to be held in February next year.

Calls for an international investigation

The motion’s passage comes just over a month after the US government made the same move, with then-US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announcing that the world was witnessing the “systematic attempt to destroy the Uyghurs by the Chinese party-state ”.
The Chinese government has repeatedly denied allegations of human rights abuses against Muslim minorities in Xinjiang. In a press 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 issues or rights. of man “.

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

“The Government of Canada takes any allegation of genocide extremely seriously. We have a responsibility to work with other members of the international community to ensure that such allegations are investigated by an independent international body. legal experts, “Garneau said in a statement on Monday. adding that a “credible investigation” should be launched by an international and independent body.

Garneau’s statement came on the same day that British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab called on China to give the United Nations “urgent and unhindered” access to Xinjiang so that accusations of human rights violations can be made. subject to an independent investigation.

“The situation in Xinjiang is beyond pale. The reported abuses – which include torture, forced labor and forced sterilization of women – are extreme and they are significant,” Raab said during a speech to the Council of Ministers. United Nations Human Rights in Geneva.

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