The Netherlands Declares China’s Treatment Of Uighurs A Genocide

(Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent
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The Dutch parliament passed a non-binding motion Thursday declaring China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims to be a genocide.

The Netherlands is now the first European nation to have its legislature designate the Chinese treatment of Uighurs as a genocide, according to Reuters. It became the third country to do so globally, after Canada declared the same earlier this week.

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the United States the first country in the world to label the detainment and widespread cultural cleansing of the Uighurs a genocide early this year under former President Donald Trump. President Joe Biden and his Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, have indicated they agree with that classification and will keep it in place. (RELATED: The US Declared China Is Committing Genocide Against Uighurs — What Happens Next?)

The Dutch motion says explicitly that a “genocide on the Uyghur minority is occurring in China.” It also said that several actions taking place in the Xinjiang province fall under the United Nations’ genocide resolution, Resolution 260, including “measures intended to prevent births” and the presence of punishment camps.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s party voted against the measure, according to Reuters. Foreign Minister Stef Blok reportedly said that the government did not want to formally declare what was happening a genocide because the United Nations had not yet done so, nor has any international court. (RELATED: Police In China Are Reportedly Using American Technology To Spy On Citizens)

China is accused of detaining more than one million Uighur Muslims in what some have called concentration camps in the Xinjiang province, sterilizing thousands and attempting to destroy the Uighur culture and history.