04/23/2021, 12.14
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House of Commons: Xinjiang Uyghurs victims of genocide

A motion passes that does not bind the government. The US, Canada and the Netherlands have made similar declarations against the Chinese government. Chinese Embassy: They are falsehoods. Johnson executive: it is up to the courts to determine if what is going on in Xinjiang is genocide.

London (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Uyghurs and other Turkish-speaking minorities of Islamic faith in Xinjiang are victims of "genocide" by the Chinese state. This was recognized yesterday by the House of Commons with a vote that does not bind the government.

The lower house of the British Parliament joins the United States, Canada and the Netherlands, according to which the Communist Party of China is committed to destroying, in whole or in part, the population of Uyghur, Kazakh and Kyrgyz origins.

Those backing the motion include Iain Duncan Smith and Nus Ghani. They have long accused Beijing of committing humanitarian crimes in the autonomous region, a position for which they have been sanctioned by the Chinese authorities.

According to expert data, confirmed by the United Nations, China holds or held more than a million Muslims in Xinjiang concentration camps. Recent media revelations have highlighted the existence of labour camps in the region, where hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs, Kazakhs and Kyrgyz are forced to work, especially picking cotton. Some researchers also claim that the Chinese government is conducting a forced sterilization campaign in Xinjiang to control the growth of the Uyghur population.

China has denied the accusations, claiming that the camps in Xinjiang are vocational centres, part of a plan to reduce poverty while fighting terrorism and separatism.

 The Chinese embassy in London has dubbed the accusations of British parliamentarians as false: "An insult and an affront to the Chinese people, and a clear violation of international law". Beijing diplomats added that their country strongly opposes the "blatant interference" of foreign forces in China's internal affairs.

The British government has been cold towards the motion passed by the House of Commons. Asia Minister Nigel Adams said it was up to a "competent national or international court" to determine whether the current case in Xinjiang is a case of genocide.

Adams said, however, that the Johnson administration has increased pressure on China through the United Nations. Last month, London imposed a series of sanctions on Beijing for the violation of human rights in Xinjiang, punitive measures also adopted simultaneously by the European Union, the US and Canada.

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