China’s Embassy in Canada slammed Ottawa’s genocide vote, stating it was a “malicious provocation” of 1.4bn Chinese people, mainland media reported on Tuesday.
Genocide had a clear definition in international law and no one could label China as doing so, an embassy spokesperson said, adding: “Xinjiang’s economic volume had been boosted over 200 times and GDP per capita 40 times.”
The Canadian House of Commons voted unanimously on a non-binding measure to declare China “was committing genocide” against over 1m Uyghurs in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, AP reported late Monday.
The Chinese embassy’s statement added that life expectancy in the westernmost region had skyrocketed from 30 to 72 years old, and the population had jumped from 10m to 12.7m in 2018.
Canada was urged to put its hand on its heart and reflect on the tragic history of its indigenous people, the spokesperson added.
According to the embassy, lawmakers in Canada had never visited China, but used “human rights” to politically manipulate Beijing’s internal affairs and play “tough on China” for their own interests.
“Such moves were hypocritical and shameless,” the spokesperson said while accusing Canada of politicizing the Olympics, which would violate the spirit of the competition and damage the interests of athletes.
Earlier on Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet have abstained from voting on the measure to relocate the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, which passed 266-0 in Parliament.
“There is real suffering going on in China. There is a genocide happening. Our values are not for sale. And Mr Trudeau needed to send that message today and he failed,” Conservative party leader Erin O’Toole said in a statement.
But Trudeau declined to call the matter “genocide”, adding it was an “extremely loaded” term, according to AP.
“When it comes to the application of the very specific word genocide, we simply need to ensure that all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed before a determination like that is made,” Trudeau said in a statement last week as quoted by AP.