Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stopped short of saying that China is committing a genocide against the Uighur people while speaking Tuesday with reporters in Ottawa.
Trudeau explained his reluctance to use the word “genocide” when describing the situation with the Uighurs in China after he was asked by a reporter what more evidence the government needed to see “before it concludes whether or not a genocide is occurring in China.” (RELATED: Democratic Rep. James Clyburn Refuses To Say If China Committed Genocide Against Uighur Muslims)
PMJT says that the word genocide is “is extremely loaded” so the government needs to see evidence that clearly demonstrated China’s treatment of the Uyghurs as a genocide before making a determination on Canada’s position #cdnpoli https://t.co/TnRba1nbkW pic.twitter.com/HcLeIMQUfY
— Mackenzie Gray (@Gray_Mackenzie) February 16, 2021
“First of all, on determinations of genocide, the principles of international law, and the international community in general, I think rightly takes very, very seriously the label of genocide, and needs to ensure that when it is used it is clearly and properly justified and demonstrated so as not to weaken the application of genocide in situations in the past,” Trudeau responded.
He went on to say that the word “genocide” is “extremely loaded” but is “something that we should be looking at in the case of the Uighurs.” He then noted that Canada is among those in the international community looking carefully at the situation, and that they “will not hesitate” to be part of the determinations around “these sorts of things.”
“We have been consistent in our concerns, in our condemnation of human rights violations around the world, including the situations in Hong Kong, and in Xinjiang, and elsewhere. We will continue to work with the international community and move forward on making the right determinations based on facts and evidence as appropriate,” Trudeau concluded.
China’s treatment of the Uighur people has already been declared a genocide by the United States. A number of abuses against the Uighurs have been documented in the region of Xinjiang, where most of China’s Uighurs live. There are currently over 1 million Uighurs being held in mass detention centers and re-education camps, with many being subject to forced labor, torture and forced sterilization.