The cabinet of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be abstaining from voting in Parliament to formally recognize the treatment of ethnic Uyghurs by the communist Chinese government as a genocide, CTV News reports.
The motion, proposed by the Conservatives, has received the support of all opposition parties. MPs are expected to vote on the motion on Monday after question period.
The Uyghurs are a predominantly Muslim ethnic group which resides in East Turkestan, the northwestern region of China which the Chinese government refers to as Xinjiang. They have been subject to an ongoing genocide perpetrated by the Chinese communist government for a number of years.
The Parliamentary Subcommittee on International Human Rights released a report in late 2020 documenting the numerous human rights abuses committed by the Chinese government. The subcommittee documented mass deportation to concentration camps where prisoners are subject to forced labour, forced sterilization and abortions, torture, and sexual abuse. Inmates are forced to recite Chinese nationalistic propaganda and are crammed into overcrowded prison cells during the evenings.
Those who have not yet been deported to concentration camps have been subjected to mass surveillance and a culture of fear. Uyghurs are largely prohibited from openly practicing their culture, and Uyghurs who have attempted to maintain their culture have been subject to arbitrary detention and persecution.
The subcommittee declared "that the actions of the Chinese Communist Party constitute genocide as laid out in the Genocide Convention," and further described the Chinese government's actions as "the largest mass detention of a minority community since the Holocaust."
It was also noted that many large corporations, including Canadian ones, have profited directly from the forced labour of Uyghurs.
Trudeau has expressed admiration for the Chinese government in the past. During his 2015 campaign for Prime Minister, Trudeau said that the Chinese government is the government he admires most aside from Canada's, praising their "basic dictatorship" for its ability to act quickly.
It is unclear why the Liberal cabinet is abstaining from the resolution.