Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Canada Cong Peiwu participates in a roundtable interview with journalists at the Embassy of China in Ottawa, on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Chinese ambassador denounces pending vote by Canadian MPs on Uighur genocide

OTTAWA — China’s envoy to Canada is telling Canadian parliamentarians to butt out of his country’s internal affairs through their pending vote on declaring a genocide against ethnic Muslim Uighurs in its Xinjiang province.

Cong Peiwu, the Chinese ambassador to Canada, is reiterating his government’s view that there is no mistreatment of Uighurs and labelling accusations from the United Nations and others that millions of people in detention camps are being subjected to forced labour and sterilization as “fiction.”

Cong is also denouncing Canada’s leadership of a 58-country international declaration against arbitrary detention, which comes amid the 800-plus days that Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have been held in prison in China.

Cong tells The Canadian Press that if Canada really wants to live up to the spirit of that declaration, it should release Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou,

who the RCMP arrested on an American extradition warrant and who Chinese officials contend is also being detained arbitrarily.

The Conservatives tabled a motion in Parliament this past week calling on Canada to formally declare crimes against Uighur Muslims in China a genocide.

That motion may come to a non-binding vote as early as Monday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stopped short of agreeing with American officials, human rights advocates and legal scholars who argue the violations amount to a genocide, saying it is a loaded word that has to be carefully used.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 20, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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