New Delhi/Ottawa: The entire Trudeau Cabinet abstained from voting on 22nd February when the Canadian House of Commons voted in favour of a Conservative motion that underscored China’s actions against the Uighur minority in its western Xinjiang region. The contention of the Motion was that the Chinese actions against the Uighurs met the definition of genocide as spelt out in the 1948 United Nations Genocide Convention.
266 of the 338 MPs voted in favour of the motion.
The motion passed by the Canadian Parliament accuses the Chinese government of committing genocide against Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims. It also calls on the government of Canada to formally take a stand that China is committing genocide, and would go for a joint response against it with the U.S. and other allies. The motion is further aimed at mounting pressure on the international Olympic Committee to shift the 2022 Winter Olympic Games out of Beijing.
While Cong Peiwu, the Chinese Ambassador to Canada, denounced the vote as meddling in China’s internal affairs, the entire Trudeau Cabinet abstained from voting.
Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau was the only cabinet minister present in the House. When it was his turn to vote, he said that he was abstaining on behalf of the Government of Canada.
What should be marked is that it is the same Trudeau, who has chosen not to interfere in China’s internal affairs, was rather loud mouthed in extending support to the agitating farmers in India. He had also announced that he would be there “to defend the rights of peaceful protest”. It is an entirely a different storey that soon thereafter he was bending over backward -as if his spine was made of rubber -when he called Prime Minister Narendra Modi over phone to seek a large consignment of COVID vaccines from India.