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Tensions between the two countries escalated as the Subcommittee also called for sanctions against Chinese officials enforcing the actions. The Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development published its findings in a written statement.
The group wrote: “The Subcommittee unequivocally condemns the persecution of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang by the Government of China.
“Based on the evidence put forward during the Subcommittee hearings, both in 2018 and 2020, the Subcommittee is persuaded that the actions of the Chinese Communist Party constitute genocide as laid out in the Genocide Convention.”
The Canadian group also called on the international community to chastise China for its actions.
It wrote: “If the international community does not condemn the human rights abuses in Xinjiang province by the Government of China, a precedent will be set, and these methods will be adopted by other regimes.
“Complacency is entrenched by a lack of access to Xinjiang; by the lack of free press; and through the silencing and harassment of Uyghurs living abroad.”
China’s foreign minister Zhao Lijian denounced the group over the report which he labelled as “groundless”.
He said the statement was “full of lies and disinformation”.
He added: “This is blatant interference in China’s internal affairs and reflects those Canadian individuals’ ignorance and prejudice. China firmly deplores and rejects that.
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“China has repeatedly made clear our stern position on Xinjiang.
“Xinjiang-related issues are not at all about human rights.
“The so-called genocide in Xinjiang is a rumour and a farce fabricated by some anti-China forces to slander China.”
He concluded that China strongly advised Canada to “denounce ideological prejudice, stop interfering in China’s internal affairs under the pretext of Xinjiang-related matters, exercise caution in its words and deeds, and avoid further damage to China-Canada relations”.
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Before publishing the findings, the group held urgent meetings on the the events occurred on July 20 and 21 this year in the region.
The Subcommittee added the latest developments to the testimonies of seven witnesses presented to the group in 2018 across five sessions.
The statement added: “The Subcommittee was profoundly disturbed by what it heard and is convinced of the need for a strong response.
“The Subcommittee heard that the Government of China has been employing various strategies to persecute Muslim groups living in Xinjiang, including mass detentions, forced labour, pervasive state surveillance and population control.
“Witnesses were clear that the Government of China’s actions are a clear attempt to eradicate Uyghur culture and religion.
“Some witnesses stated that the Government of China’s actions meet the definition of genocide as set out in Article II of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention).”
The Uyghurs are native to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in Northwest China.
They are officially are officially recognised as one of China’s 55 ethnic minorities.
But China has come under fire in recent years for its treatment of Uyghurs and introducing surveillance state-style policies in the sector.
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