China has accused Canadian parliamentarians of spreading “lies and rumors” over the issues of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. A subcommittee of Canada’s parliament termed the atrocities on the ethnic minorities as “genocide.” They called for human rights-related sanctions.
China cited population-growth-related data on Uyghurs. Chinese spokesperson Zhao Lijian told a news conference that Beijing has made its stern position clear. He said that the sub-committee neglects the “political stability, economic growth, ethnic solidarity, and social harmony” in Xinjiang.
“Its groundless statement is full of lies and rumours. This is blatant interference in China’s internal affairs and reflects those Canadian individuals’ ignorance and prejudice. China firmly deplores and rejects that,” he added, according to China’s foreign ministry website.
Zhao said that Xinjiang-related issues are not about human rights. He added that the “genocide” in Xinjiang is a “rumor” fabricated by some anti-China forces. He claimed that the Uyghur population in Xinjiang grew by 25 percent from 2012 to 2018. The spokesperson further urged Canada to stop interfering in China’s internal affairs. Hence, suggesting to “exercise caution” in its words and deeds.
The weak relationship between China and Canada after the arrest of Huawei CFO has further deteriorated over Canada’s decision to grant refugee status of a Hong Kong couple who participated in pro-democracy protests last year. Canada had also accused China of engaging in “coercive diplomacy”, having two Canadian men hostage.
Last week, China warned Canada against granting asylum to Hong Kong pro-democracy activists. They added that it could jeopardize the “health and safety” of Canadians living in the semi-autonomous region. During a video conference, the Ambassador to Ottawa, Cong Peiwu, urged Canada to not grant political asylum to “violent criminals”. He added that asylum as this amounts to interference in China’s domestic affairs. And hence, will embolden those “criminals.”
“So if the Canadian side really cares about the stability and the prosperity in Hong Kong, and really cares about the good health and safety of those 300,000 Canadian passport-holders in Hong Kong…you should support those efforts to fight violent crimes,” Cong said.