Canada calls China's treatment of Uighurs 'genocide' over Trudeau's objections

Canada calls China's treatment of Uighurs 'genocide' over Trudeau's objections
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Canada declared China’s treatment of its Muslim Uighur minority a genocide on Monday, a move Canadian Prime Minister Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauChina labels human rights criticism 'groundless' Survey finds majority confident in Biden on foreign policy Trudeau swipes at Trump: US leadership on climate 'has been sorely missed' MORE did not support.

Canada is now the second country to declare a genocide in China’s Xinjiang region after former U.S. Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoChina labels human rights criticism 'groundless' Trump to attend private RNC donor retreat On China, is Biden channeling Trump or Trump's administration? They're not the same MORE did so before leaving office last month. That move is currently under review by the Biden administration.

“On a matter like genocide, Canada needs to send a clear and unequivocal signal that we will stand up for human rights and the dignity of human rights, even if it means sacrificing some economic opportunity,” Conservative Party leader Erin O'Toole said last week when calling for the vote on the nonbinding resolution, which was brought forth by Canada's main opposition party.


Trudeau and the senior members of his Cabinet were not present at the vote. He has been hesitant to support calls for declaring the persecution of Uighurs a genocide. 

“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,” he said last week.

The Guardian noted that the move could complicate Trudeau's endeavors to maintain stable relations with Beijing while still keeping in check China's hostilities.

“We firmly oppose that because it runs counter to the facts. And it’s like, you know, interfering in our domestic affairs,” said Cong Peiwu, China’s ambassador to Canada. “There’s nothing like genocide happening in Xinjiang at all.”

Reports of the rape and torture of Uighur detainees have raised calls for the United Nations to launch an investigation in China.

“People’s Republic of China (PRC) authorities should allow for immediate and independent investigations by international observers into these shocking allegations, in addition to the other atrocities being committed in Xinjiang,” a spokesperson for the State Department told The Hill at the time.