China targets Uighurs with more prosecutions, longer prison terms: HRW

China rejects genocide charge in Xinjiang, says door open to UN

China rejects genocide charge in Xinjiang, says door open to UN

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Garneau said he had abstained "on behalf of the government of Canada".

As for the Liberals, as CTV reported over the weekend, the government still hasn't indicated whether it intends to support the motion, or whether Trudeau will "allow a free vote" or require MPs to "toe the party line", with Justice Minister David Lametti being "similarly non-committal about how cabinet will vote on the motion". 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.

Most recently, Canada's House of Commons overwhelmingly voted to declare China's treatment of the Muslim minority - including forced detention in camps and forced sterilizations - as genocide.

According to reports previous year, up to 3 million Uighur Muslims in China's western Xinjiang province have been taken from their homes since 2017 by authorities and disappeared into a prison camp, which the Chinese government glosses over as a re-education facility.

Rights groups believe that China has detained up to a million Uighurs and used them as forced labor over the past few years in what the state defines as "reeducation camps".

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

The news comes just a day after British foreign secretary Dominic Raab called on the United Nations to open an inquiry into China's alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang, stating: "No one can ignore the evidence anymore".

Genocide has a legal definition under Article II of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide - of which China is a signatory.

Germany's foreign minister Heiko Maas said: "Our commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights also leaves no room for the arbitrary detention of ethnic minorities like the Uighurs in Xinjiang or China's crackdown on civil liberties in Hong Kong".

"They should resolve their own human rights problems such as deep-rooted racial discrimination, gaps between rich and poor, social inequity, injustice, police brutality", he added. "We welcome parliamentarians working together and debating this critical issue", reads the statement.

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Trudeau was accompanied by his finance minister, Chrystia Freeland , and others. Another meeting with more officials followed.

"We firmly oppose and categorically reject these attempts", the envoy added.

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.

Elsewhere on the Hill media circuit, Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet outlines his party's position on the government's proposed overhaul of Canada's official languages law during a mid-morning media availability with his party's language critic, Mario Beaulieu.

Wang said China has sent invitations to the UN Human Rights Council's high commissioner about a trip to Xinjiang, and the two sides have maintained close communication on the matter.

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

"We must call it for what it is: a genocide".

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said that Canada's "so-called declaration violates the diplomatic code of conduct and norms governing global relations".

Former Ambassador to China Guy Saint-Jacques told Power Play that that Liberal cabinet won't be able to hide from the possible wrath of China through its vote abstention.

"There are risks with this, you are in reactive mode. I think the government first has to make use of the call tomorrow with President Biden and his team to see what can be done to try and help us with the fate of the two Michaels", he said.

Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig have been detained in a Chinese jail since December 10, 2018, largely seen as retaliation for the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at the request of the US days prior in Vancouver.

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