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Monday, June 5, 2023

Trudeau and his cabinet refrain from motion calling out China’s Uighur genocide

While Canadian lawmakers passed a motion declaring China is committing Uighur genocide, PM Justin Trudeau and his cabinet abstained from voting. On Monday, except Justin Trudeau and his cabinet, all members of Canada’s House of Commons voted in favor of declaring China’s treatment of Uighurs as genocide and also called for moving the 2022 Winter Olympics out of Beijing.

The motion which was passed with a 266-0 majority vote stated that China was committing genocide against 1 million Uighurs in the western Xinjiang region. It also asked the International Olympic Committee to reconsider its decision of holding the Winter Olympics in China in the year 2022.

A senior government official is believed to have told South China Morning Post (SCMP) that making such declarations in the parliament wouldn’t make much difference on the ground conditions in China and that such matters required working with international allies and parties. The official also stated that the position of the Trudeau government on the issue would be clarified by Canada’s foreign minister.

SCMP report on the issue says:

The main opposition parties supported the motion and control the majority of seats in the House of Commons. Trudeau’s Cabinet is made up of 37 Liberal lawmakers including the prime minister. There are 154 lawmakers from Trudeau’s Liberal Party in the House of Commons and the rest of the Liberal lawmakers voted freely on the motion.

It also quotes Opposition Conservative Party Erin O’Toole who held that the motion was passed with the intention of working with allies such as America to bring an end to the camps and also China’s conduct. O’Toole also said “There is real suffering going on in China. There is a genocide happening. Our values are not for sale. And Mr. Trudeau needed to send that message today and he failed.”

There have been tensions between China and Canada ever since two Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were detained by China in December 2018 following the arrest of Huawei Technologies’ top executive Meng Wanzhou, who is also the daughter of the company’s founder, in Canada.

Trudeau, however, has always hesitated to use the term genocide citing it to be an extremely loaded term. “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.

Even as Trudeau continues to refrain from calling out China’s treatment of Uighurs, researchers and rights groups have held that China has rounded up close to a million, possibly even more, Uighurs and other minorities since 2016 in prisons and indoctrination camps. Even ex-US secretary of state Mike Pompeo opined that China’s policies against Xinjiang’s Muslims and ethnic minorities constituted crimes against humanity and genocide. Pompeo was seconded by his successor Antony Blinken.

China’s ambassador to Canada has made it clear in no uncertain terms to Canadian parliamentarians that they must stay away from China’s internal matter. While Trudeau has been preferred to keep away from meddling in China’s affairs, he doesn’t seem to extend the same courtesy to Bharat, despite the fact that China is actually committing human rights offenses while Bharat is being threatened by anti-national forces Trudeau has spoken in support of.

It is not just Trudeau, but most of the western countries have refrained from commenting on China’s affairs. Trudeau follows in German footsteps and even Biden beat around the bush rather than call out the Uighur genocide. The double standards of Trudeau and other western countries stand exposed as they lecture Bharat but find no courage to call out human rights violations in China or even Pakistan and Bangladesh for that matter.

(Featured Image Source: South China Morning Post)

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