Though Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Cabinet abstained from Monday’s vote, a majority of lawmakers — including many Liberals who participated — voted in support of the motion, which was brought by the opposition Conservative Party.
Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, 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 the determination, which while symbolic will not become government policy. “It is shameful that Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government continue to refuse to call the horrific conduct by the Chinese Communist Party what it is: a genocide,” said O’Toole Monday.
At a news conference on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Canada should stop politicizing the 2022 Beijing Games, saying it undermined “the interests of the international Olympic movement and athletes from all countries.”
Calls for international investigation
The Chinese government has repeatedly denied allegations of human rights abuses against Muslim minorities in Xinjiang. Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang said Tuesday that China “strongly condemns and resolutely opposes the motion” by the Canadian Parliament, adding that they had made representations to Ottawa.
“The facts prove that there has never been any genocide in Xinjiang,” he said.
In a statement released following Monday’s vote, Canadian Foreign Minister Garneau said that the Trudeau government believes that allegations against China need to be investigated by international experts.
“The Government of Canada takes any allegations of genocide extremely seriously. We have the responsibility to work with others in the international community in ensuring that any such allegations are investigated by an independent international body of legal experts,” Garneau said in statement released Monday, adding that a “credible investigation” should by launched by an international and independent body.
“The situation in Xinjiang is beyond the pale. The reported abuses — which include torture, forced labor and forced sterilization of women — are extreme and they are extensive,” Raab said during an address to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.