Europe torn over calling China out over Xinjiang ‚genocide‘

For Nikkei Asia

JENS KASTNER, Contributing writerMay 6, 2021 13:05 JST

HAMBURG, Germany — Lawmakers across Europe are calling on governments to label China’s atrocities in Xinjiang as genocide, putting pressure on leaders keen to maintain economic ties with Beijing.

Following declarations by the U.S. and Canada, the parliaments of the Netherlands and the U.K. have this year passed resolutions containing the word genocide, prompting Chinese embassies to hit back using language such as „the most preposterous lie of the century, an outrageous insult and affront to the Chinese people.“

Lithuania’s parliament held special hearings on April 22 with international experts and relatives of people imprisoned in Xinjiang, following the submission of a draft resolution by lawmakers to call the atrocities a genocide. The German parliament’s committee for human rights and humanitarian aid will hold a hearing on May 17, with the involved caucuses‘ speakers leaving little doubt that they, too, favor the use of the word genocide.

„The overt contempt by the totalitarian communist regime for other religious groups, such as Tibetans, Uighurs and Christians, document an aggressive racism that targets millions of victims and is currently unmatched in the whole world in its extent,“ Michael Brand, the human rights speaker of the ruling CDU/CSU caucus, said in a note to media including Nikkei Asia.

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