China is committing genocide: Canada lawmakers

Canada's lower house of parliament has voted in favor of labeling China's treatment of Uighur Muslims as genocide, in a symbolic move that may pile more pressure on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government to take a harder line on the issue - and follow the U.S. government's similar accusations.

Monday's (February 22) vote in the House of Commons passed 266 to zero, although Trudeau and his cabinet abstained. The House has a total of 338 members.

The vote was non-binding, although it was backed by all opposition parties and some members of Trudeau's own Liberal Party.

Trudeau has been reluctant to use the word genocide, and has suggested that he wants broader consensus among Western allies over the vast complexes that China has set up in Xinjiang province.

China calls them "vocational training centers" to combat extremism, and has strictly denied allegations of human rights abuses within them.

On Tuesday, China's foreign ministry called Canada's vote a smear that "disregards facts and common sense.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump, on his last day of office, said China had committed "genocide and crimes against humanity" by repressing Uighur Muslims.

The Biden administration is poised to uphold that position.