Australian Parliament Refuses to Acknowledge Xinjiang Genocide

Australian parliament on Monday denied a motion to recognize the treatment of ethnic minority Uygurs in Xinjiang as genocide, following declarations by the United States, Canada, and the Netherlands.

The Senate had voted 33-12 not in favor of the proposed resolution, which would place a further strain on the already “fraught” relations between Canberra and Beijing.

China has strongly denied allegations of human rights abuses in the western Chinese province.

“It is most regrettable that Coalition and Labor Senators combined to block a vote on a motion that recognizes the incontrovertible fact that the Chinese Government is engaged in a campaign against the Uyghur people that constitutes an international crime within the scope of the 1948 Genocide Convention,” Australian Senator Rex Patrick said

Liberal Senator Jonathan Duniam meanwhile said that the government did not believe the motion was an appropriate means of addressing the human rights concerns. 

“Australia remains deeply concerned by reports of enforced disappearances, mass detentions, forced labor, pervasive surveillance of Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang,” he told the Senate. 

“We will continue to work closely with our key partners to advocate on this issue in a meaningful way,” he added.

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