Canada’s parliament has passed a motion calling China’s treatment of the Uighur Muslim minority in the Xinjiang region an act of “genocide”.
Monday’s vote by the House of Commons effectively puts pressure on the country’s Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to follow suit.
The House voted 266-0 in favour of the non-binding motion which was brought by the opposition Conservative Party.
Although Mr. Trudeau and his Cabinet abstained from the vote, backbenchers from his Liberal party widely supported it.
The motion was also amended just before the vote to call on the International Olympic Committee to move the 2022 Winter Olympics from Beijing if the treatment continues.
The prime minister’s Conservative rivals have been pressuring him to get tougher on China. After Canada arrested Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou in 2018 on a US warrant, China responded by detaining two Canadians on spying charges, igniting lingering diplomatic tensions between Ottawa and Beijing.
China has been widely condemned for setting up complexes in Xinjiang that it describes as “vocational training centers” to stamp out extremism and give people new skills, and which other countries have called concentration camps. Beijing denies accusations of abuses in Xinjiang.
Mr. Trudeau has been reluctant to use the word genocide, saying seeking broad consensus among Western allies on Chinese human rights issues would be the best approach.