Declare crimes against Uighurs in China a genocide, Conservatives to urge Commons

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Declare crimes against Uighurs in China a genocide, Conservatives to urge Commons
Author of the article:
Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Stephanie Levitz
Publishing date:
Feb 18, 2021 • 1 hour ago • 2 minute read
Residents at the Kashgar city vocational educational training centre attend a Chinese lesson during a government organized visit in Kashgar, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China, Jan. 4, 2019. Photo by Ben Blanchard /REUTERS / FILES
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OTTAWA — The Conservatives are calling for the House of Commons to formally declare crimes against minority Muslims in China a genocide.

They’re tabling a motion in the House of Commons today, which calls on Canada to take the same stand against China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims as other countries have already done.

The move is the latest by the Tories to ratchet up pressure on the Liberal government to move beyond calls for an international investigation and to take action in response to the situation faced by Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang province.

China has been accused of using forced birth control to limit Uighur births and detention camps to indoctrinate the mostly-Muslim minority into mainstream Chinese society.

Beijing has denied any wrongdoing. saying it is running a voluntary employment and language-training program.

The Liberals have said they have concerns about human rights violations, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stopped short of echoing U.S. officials, human rights advocates and legal scholars who say those violations amount to a genocide.
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“It’s a word that is extremely loaded and is certainly something that we should be looking at in the case of the Uighurs,” Trudeau said earlier this week.

“I know the international community is looking very carefully at that and we are certainly among them.”

On Wednesday, the Tories pressed Trudeau on what more he needed to see, likening his call for further investigation to watching a crime being committed through a window but then knocking on the door and asking to investigate.

There is satellite imagery of the camps, survivor testimony, expert reports, recognition by both U.S. Democrat and Republican officials and even a report by Canadians MP, noted Tory MP Garnett Genuis.

“The victims have spoken. The Prime Minister should believe them. Why the continuing denial?,” he said.

Last year, the Liberals’ then-foreign affairs minister did warn that tough talk on China could be met by further consequences for Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, two Canadians who have been detained by the Chinese government for 800 days.

The “two Michaels” were picked up just days after the RCMP arrested a Chinese high-tech scion on a U.S. extradition warrant, and Beijing has made it clear that the move was in retaliation for Meng Wanzhou’s arrest.

When asked Tuesday whether he feared using the word genocide might jeopardize the two Michaels’ situation, Trudeau sidestepped the question.

The Conservative motion going before the Commons today notes that it is generally the policy of the Canadian government to act in concert with allies when it comes to recognizing genocide, and there’s already bipartisan consensus on the issue in the U.S.
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Therefore, the motion says, the House of Commons should “recognize that a genocide is currently being carried out by the People’s Republic of China against Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims and call on the government to officially adopt this position.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole is expected to outline his case for the motion at a news conference this morning.

Earlier this week his party joined the call for the 2022 Olympics in Beijing to be relocated due to China’s actions. The Tories have also called for sanctions to be imposed against Chinese officials.
 

spaminator

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Conservatives urge Liberals to support Uighur genocide motion amid China's denials
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Publishing date:Feb 22, 2021 • 1 hour ago • 1 minute read

Conservative MP Michael Chong speaks to reporters as she arrives for a Conservative caucus retreat on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on Jan. 24, 2020. PHOTO BY JUSTIN TANG /THE CANADIAN PRESS
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OTTAWA — The Conservatives are calling on Liberal MPs to support the party’s motion to have Parliament declare a genocide against ethnic Muslim Uighurs in its Xinjiang province.

Conservative MPs Michael Chong and Garnett Genuis were joined by Uighur community members at a teleconference today in calling for the government’s support of the motion, saying unanimity would send a strong signal to China.


Chong is also dismissing the Chinese government’s claims there is no genocide there.

Ambassador Cong Peiwu recently told The Canadian Press that reports of millions of people in detention camps being subjected to forced labour, sterilization and other abuse is simply unsubstantiated China-bashing.

Chong is rejecting that denial, saying there are reams of satellite images, smuggled video and documents, accounts from escaped Uighurs and undercover reporting by major American newspapers to document the atrocities.

The Conservatives tabled a motion in the House of Commons last week that may come to a non-binding vote as early as tonight, calling for a formal declaration that crimes against Uighur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang province constitute a genocide.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stopped short of agreeing with American officials, human rights advocates and legal scholars who argue the violations amount to a genocide, saying it is a loaded word that has to be used carefully.
 

Tecumsehsbones

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Weird, enit? The MAGAhats hold it as an article of faith that President Biden is owned, body and soul, by China, but the U.S. maintains its declaration that China is committing genocide.

If it weren't for the lead that leached into their brains from the dye in their Chinese-made MAGA hats, they might could see an inconsistency there.
 
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spaminator

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Conservatives win all-party support of Uighur genocide vote in House of Commons
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Mike Blanchfield
Publishing date:Feb 22, 2021 • 18 hours ago • 4 minute read

Conservative MP Michael Chong speaks to reporters as she arrives for a Conservative caucus retreat on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on Jan. 24, 2020. PHOTO BY JUSTIN TANG /THE CANADIAN PRESS
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OTTAWA — Canada’s House of Commons voted unanimously in favour Monday of a Conservative motion declaring as genocide the atrocities committed against ethnic Muslim Uighurs in China’s Xinjiang province.

Liberal backbenchers answered the Conservative call to back what was a largely symbolic declaration. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and all but one of his cabinet ministers did not take part in the politically charged vote, which took place mainly over video, and against the backdrop of all-but-frozen relations between Beijing and Ottawa.


China has imprisoned two Canadian men, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, on what the government and dozens of its allies say are bogus charges in retaliation for the RCMP’s December 2018 arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on a U.S. extradition warrant.

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

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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 international body.

“We remain deeply disturbed by horrific reports of human rights violations in Xinjiang, including the use of arbitrary detention, political re-education, forced labour, torture and forced sterilization,” Garneau said in a statement afterwards.

“The free vote in Parliament ensures each member can make a determination based on available evidence ⦠We welcome parliamentarians working together and debating this critical issue.”

Trudeau has stopped short of agreeing with American officials, human rights advocates and legal scholars who argue the violations amount to a genocide, saying it is a loaded word that has to be used carefully. But he has said serious human rights abuses are taking place in the northwestern Chinese province.


Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden will be discussing China in their virtual meeting on Tuesday.

Dozens of Liberal MPs supported the Conservative motion, which passed by a 266-0 margin in the 338-seat Commons.

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole seized on the no-show to label the “co-ordinated absence” of Trudeau and his ministers as “shameful.”

O’Toole said he wasn’t worried about any economic blowback from a Chinese economic superpower that is clearly angered by the detention of Meng and the criticism of parliamentarians.

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“Our values are not for sale. And Mr. Trudeau needed to send that message today,” said O’Toole.

The Liberal support came after the Conservatives called on the party to support the party’s motion earlier in the day.


Conservative MPs Michael Chong and Garnett Genuis were joined by Uighur community members at a teleconference Monday in calling for the government’s support, suggesting that unanimity would send a strong signal to China.

Genuis, the critic for international development and human rights, said the Conservatives expected to have the support of opposition parties to pass the motion.

“New Democrats recognize that China’s measures of mass detention, forced labour, surveillance and population control, such as forced sterilization, against Uighurs and Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang meet the definition of genocide,” said NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh in a statement before the vote.

Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet and a Green party spokesman said they were on board too. MPs also voted for a Bloc amendment to expand the motion so that it would also call upon the International Olympic Committee to move the 2022 Olympic Games out of China if the genocide continues.

Earlier Monday, Chong dismissed the Chinese government’s claims there is no genocide taking place in Xinjiang.

China’s ambassador to Canada, Cong Peiwu, recently told The Canadian Press that reports of millions of people in detention camps being subjected to forced labour, sterilization and other abuse is simply unsubstantiated China-bashing.

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Chong rejected that denial, saying there are reams of satellite images, smuggled video and documents, accounts from escaped Uighurs and undercover reporting by major American newspapers to document the atrocities.

The Tories were joined by Kalbinur Tursun, a Uighur who fled China and has spoken publicly against the Communist party’s treatment of her people in Xinjiang.

Speaking through a translator provided by the party, she said the world didn’t believe the horrors of the Holocaust until the concentration camps were exposed for all to see after the Second World War.

“Yesterday’s Jews are today’s Uighurs,” said Tursun.

Two weeks ago, Tursun said Chinese police contacted her with “threatening texts and phone calls reminding me to cease talking.” She said she was speaking publicly in an appeal to save the lives of her relatives back home.

“What we see before our eyes is not complicated. We see the existence of modern concentration camps,” said Genuis.

“When you think of slaves being forced to pick cotton, you might initially think of images of the Antebellum South. But that description equally describes what is happening in Xinjiang.”
 

spaminator

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LILLEY: Trudeau's silence on Uighur genocide fails Canada
Author of the article:Brian Lilley
Publishing date:Feb 23, 2021 • 2 hours ago • 3 minute read

Protesters gather outside the Parliament buildings in Ottawa, Monday, February 22, 2021 ahead of the vote on an opposition motion calling on Canada to recognize China's actions against ethnic Muslim Uighurs as genocide. PHOTO BY ADRIAN WYLD /THE CANADIAN PRESS
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When it came time to stand and be counted, the “Little Potato” was nowhere to be found. Little Potato is the nickname that Chrystia Freeland told the world China’s leaders had given to Justin Trudeau. I’m sure she thought it was a term of endearment, while to most it sounds mocking and dismissive.

On Monday, Trudeau lived up to the name when it came time to vote on declaring China’s treatment of the Uighurs and other minorities as a genocide.

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It’s not that Trudeau voted no and presented arguments as to why that would be the correct position. It’s not that he argued that while China is committing genocide it would be unwise for him as prime minister to comment on the matter.

What Trudeau did was simply remain silent along with the rest of his cabinet, they showed their true cowardice at a time when it mattered.

This is not the Canadian way.

I fully understand that economically, Canada is much smaller than China. I fully understand that two of our citizens are sitting in a jail because the dictators of Beijing decided they should be kidnapped. And of course, any move against China could come with the repercussions.

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Yet simply remaining silent and weak as China kidnaps our citizens, attacks our industries, berates our media and threatens our government is no way to act or respond. This course of inaction will not free Michael Kovrig or Michael Spavor and it will not end China’s bullying tactics towards Canada.

Chinese actions against the Uighurs have already been described as a genocide by the United States under former President Donald Trump and under President Joe Biden. International human rights groups have done the heavy lifting of documenting the horrors — even a subcommittee of the House of Commons heard testimony firsthand on what is happening in “detention camps.”

“Detainees are abused psychologically, physically and sexually. They are forbidden from speaking the Uighur language or practising their religion. In an effort to assimilate and indoctrinate them, they are forced to learn Mandarin Chinese, Chinese culture and traditions, as well as sing praises to the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese President, Xi Jinping,” the committee reported.

Canada cannot simply remain silent in the face of such evidence.


In 1961 it was Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker who pushed for the expulsion of South Africa from the Commonwealth over their adoption of apartheid. In 1985, it was Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney who helped lead the Commonwealth and then the world in denouncing apartheid and implementing economic sanctions to bring about its demise.

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“My government has said to Canadians that if there are not fundamental changes in South Africa, we are prepared to invoke total sanctions against that country and its regime,” Mulroney told the United Nations General Assembly in 1985. “Our purpose is not to punish or penalize, but to hasten peaceful change.”

Mulroney’s position was not the easy or the popular one, but it was the right one. He showed leadership on the world stage and leadership in bringing along our allies like the United States and United Kingdom – neither of which thought sanctions were the answer.

Where is that leadership today?

It certainly isn’t found in the prime minister’s office.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC

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Conservatives win all-party support of Uighur genocide vote in House of Commons
In this Aug. 31, 2016 file photo, Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ahead of their meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China.
EDITORIAL: So much for Trudeau's commitment to human rights
A journalist looks at a display at the exhibition centre for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics in Yaqing district, Beijing, China, Feb. 5, 2021.
MPs demand relocation of 2022 Olympics due to China's abuse of Uighurs

As Canadians, we should be proud of the fact that 266 MPs from all parties did vote to call out China’s genocide for what it is. The motion to do this was started by Conservative foreign affairs critic Michael Chong, but supported by the NDP, the Bloc and even the Liberal backbenches.

Sadly, the only cabinet minister to make an appearance was Marc Garneau who said he was abstaining on behalf of the Government of Canada. We don’t record abstentions in our system — you are for or against a motion, there is no sitting on the sidelines.

It’s time for Justin Trudeau to get off the sidelines.

blilley@postmedia.com
 

Serryah

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Trudeau not standing up to China and against this genocide is disgusting, but honestly not all that surprising.

I get why he doesn't want to go against China unilaterally.

And I also think it's rich for the Cons to get all up in arms over China since they were BFF with them at one point.

I do have a question though for Trudeau haters - if Trudeau goes with the non-binding statement and it becomes 'a thing', and the two prisoners China now has hold on don't return home healthy, or at all, would you blame Trudeau for that?
 

pgs

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Trudeau not standing up to China and against this genocide is disgusting, but honestly not all that surprising.

I get why he doesn't want to go against China unilaterally.

And I also think it's rich for the Cons to get all up in arms over China since they were BFF with them at one point.

I do have a question though for Trudeau haters - if Trudeau goes with the non-binding statement and it becomes 'a thing', and the two prisoners China now has hold on don't return home healthy, or at all, would you blame Trudeau for that?
Yes , he should have been able to secure their release long ago .
 

Tecumsehsbones

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Don't mean nothing anymore.

Used to be "genocide" was the worst accusation you could level at a country, like "child molester" for a person.

Nowadays it's just another political stick. Hate to say it, but the U.S. is mostly to blame. We declared the Rwanda situation in '94 a genocide, and then. . . didn't do nothing about it.
 
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