The way China deals with the Uyghurs should be called genocide, or genocide. That is a majority in the House of Representatives. GroenLinks, PvdA, CDA, Party voor de Dieren, Denk, ChristenUnie, 50Plus, SP, and MPs Krol and Van Kooten-Aids support a proposal on this subject from D66.
D66-MP Sjoerdsma called on other parties in the radio programme News and Co this week to strongly condemn Beijing‘s actions. “These are terrible abuses against the Uyghur Muslim minority. We should not take a leaf for the mouth and call it genocide.”
Possibly more than a million Uyghurs and other Muslims are trapped in penal camps and detention centres in the Chinese region of Xinjiang. Early this month, the BBC reported systematic rape and torture in the camps. There would also be forced labour and forced sterilization.
For this reason, the Chamber considers that China’s action falls under United Nations Resolution 260, better known as the ‘Genocide Convention’.
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.
No winter games in China
However, Minister Blok does not want to use the word genocide against the Chinese, as he repeated this afternoon in the Chamber. According to him, there are widespread violations of human rights, such as the imposition of birth restrictions. But the Cabinet will not use the term genocide until the UN or the International Criminal Court have ruled it.
Blok also does not like a number of proposals from D66 and GroenLinks for a ban on imports from China or specific measures against companies from the Netherlands. It points out that the Netherlands is calling on China to stop human rights violations at European level. He does not call measures from the Netherlands alone sensible.
Minister Blok explains why the Cabinet does not want to use the term genocide:
D66 also wants the Winter Olympics to be moved from China to another country if China does not change its attitude towards the Uyghurs. It is unclear whether there is a majority in the Chamber in favour of that.
Big concerns about Qatar
The Chamber is also voting today on a proposal from the SP not to send an official representative to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar next year, after it has become known that at least 6500 people have been killed during work in that country.
List trackers Gert-Jan Segers (ChristenUnie) and Sigrid Kaag (D66) would prefer to boycott the tournament, they said last night at HetCCEit on 3 election program. Minister Blok said in the Chamber this afternoon that he also has great concerns about the situation in Qatar and that working conditions continue to appeal to the country. But not sending a representative he does not like, what he calls “mixing sport and politics” says Blok “unwise”.
China tries to keep its criminal camps secret, correspondent Sjoerd den Daas noted a few months ago: