Politics

China slams Canada for calling treatment of Uighurs ‘genocide’

Beijing, Feb 23 (efe-epa).- China on Tuesday slammed the Canadian parliament voted to call the treatment of the Uighur minority population a “genocide.”

Foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Beijing had lodged a formal protest with Ottawa over the move.

“Facts have proven that there was no genocide in Xinjiang. This is a lie concocted by anti-China forces, a ridiculous farce to smear China,” Wang told reporters.

He also criticized some Canadian politicians for calling to boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing over the issue.

“Some Canadian politicians’ blatant politicization of sport violates the spirit of the Olympics and harms the interests of athletes.”

On Monday, in the absence of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the majority of his cabinet, the Canadian parliament passed a motion by the Conservative Party that said that the Chinese actions in its western Xinjiang region correspond to the definition of genocide laid down by the United Nations.

Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau, the only government representative present in the house, abstained from voting on the proposal.

The motion was passed with 266 votes in favor, none against, and 72 abstentions.

“China firmly opposes and has lodged serious representations to Canada” over the Xinjiang claims and demands to remove Beijing as host of the Winter Olympics, Wang said.

Ties between Beijing and Ottawa have deteriorated over the last two years after Canada arrested a senior executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, in December 2018 at the request of the United States.

In retaliation, China arrested two Canadians, diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor, on the charges of espionage and stealing state secrets.

Meng was released on bail 10 days after her arrest.

She now resides with her family in Vancouver, while Kovrig and Spavor are lodged in two different Chinese prisons since their arrest and are only allowed a few consular visits by Canadian officials once in a while.

In September, Canada abandoned plans to sign a free trade agreement with China. The pact was being negotiated since 2016. EFE-EPA

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