Conservatives Call on Ottawa to Declare Beijing’s Repression of Uyghurs a ‘Genocide’

Conservatives Call on Ottawa to Declare Beijing’s Repression of Uyghurs a ‘Genocide’
Police patrol a village in Hotan prefecture in China's Xinjiang region on Feb. 17, 2018. (Ben Dooley/AFP via Getty Images)
Omid Ghoreishi

The Conservative Party is calling on Ottawa to recognize that Beijing is committing “genocide” against Uyghur Muslims in China and to take coordinated action with allies to stop it.

“These acts of genocide include systematic population control, sexual violence, and mass detention,” Michael Chong, Conservative shadow minister for foreign affairs, and Garnett Genuis, Conservative shadow minister for human rights, said in a statement.

The statement added that China’s abuses against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims “are indicative of the government of China’s escalating disregard for human rights and international law, including in Hong Kong, as well as with Tibetans, Falun Gong practitioners, Christians, and other ethnic and religious minorities.”

Conservatives noted that the United States has already recognized Beijing’s repression of Uyghurs as a genocide, and urged the Liberal government to follow suit and encourage other allies to do the same.

“[W]e call on the government to work with allies, including the U.S., to take coordinated action in response to this genocide,” the statement said.

On Jan. 19, then-secretary of state Mike Pompeo announced that the United States had determined that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has committed “genocide” and “crimes against humanity” against Uyghurs in the region of Xinjiang.

“After careful examination of the available facts, I have determined that the PRC [People’s Republic of China], under the direction and control of the CCP, has committed genocide against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang,” Pompeo said in a statement.

Pompeo’s successor under the Biden administration, Antony Blinken, has said he agrees with Pompeo’s declaration.
In October, the parliamentary subcommittee on international human rights said Beijing’s actions “constitute genocide as laid out in the Genocide Convention.”

Genuis said his party will “push hard to have Parliament officially recognize and respond” to the Uyghur genocide.

Last week, the Liberal government issued an advisory notifying Canadian firms of the legal and reputational risks of doing business with entities complicit in human rights violations in Xinjiang.

“The Government of Canada is deeply concerned by reports and documentary evidence of repression of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities by Chinese authorities in the XUAR [Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region] on the basis of their religion and ethnicity under the pretext of countering ‘terrorism’ and ‘religious extremism,’” the advisory stated.