China is in harsh words distancing itself from the motion in which the House of Representatives classifies the treatment of Uyghurs as genocide. China sees the motion as “deliberate slander” and as a “gross interference in a domestic affair”, says the Chinese Embassy in The Hague. The Chamber would completely ignore the facts and “common sense”.
“ Genocide is well defined in international law”, and according to the embassy, this is not the case in this matter. Furthermore, the Chinese authorities suggest that the situation is striking, as the Netherlands is known as host of international organisations.
“ By hyping the Xinjiang issue before the elections, MPs abuse the issue for political purposes, without respect for the law. This shows their ignorance and bias towards China and their selfishness and narrowness of mind.”
Criminal camps and detention centres
A broad majority of the parliament sees this differently. The Parties shall base themselves, inter alia, on reports from the UN, human rights organisations and media reports. The UN calls it plausible that one million Uyghurs and other Muslims are trapped in penal camps and detention centres in Chinas Xinjiang region. Early this month, the BBC reported systematic rape and torture in the camps. There would also be forced labour and forced sterilization.
According to the embassy, China is fighting terrorists and separatists in Xinjiang. Abroad does not have to interfere with that. The embassy says that the country adheres to UN directives and points out that the number of Uyghurs in Xinjiang increased by 25 percent between 2010 and 2018, and the number of Han Chinese in the same region only by 2 percent.
Human rights are respected and the language and culture of ethnic minorities are well protected, according to the embassy, which urges MPs not to jeopardise relations between the Netherlands and China.
This week, the Canadian House of Commons, and before that, the US government, already described the treatment of the Uyghurs as genocide.
In France and England there is also a fierce debate on sanctions against China, but the Dutch parliament is the first in Europe to accuse the Chinese of genocide.