Politics

China trying to 'defend the indefensible' in Xinjiang, says Canada's ambassador to UN

Canada’s ambassador to the UN says China’s decision to target Canada for speaking out against the ongoing genocide of China’s Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang province is failing to defend the indefensible. 

Bob Rae says Myanmar military's cruelty is being revealed for all the world to see

China 'attempting to defend the indefensible' in Xinjiang: Bob Rae

6 months ago
10:05
Canada's Ambassador to the UN Bob Rae joined Power & Politics Tuesday to discuss Canada-China relations and the brutal military crackdown in Myanmar. 10:05

Canada's ambassador to the UN says China's decision to target Canada for speaking out against the ongoing genocide of China's Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang province is failing to defend the indefensible.

"I think it's annoying them a lot," Bob Rae told CBC News Network's Power & Politics Tuesday. "It only discredits the Chinese attempt to defend the indefensible, and what is going in Xinjiang is indefensible."

Last week Canada joined the U.S., United Kingdom and European Union in imposing sanctions on four Chinese officials suspected of being responsible for atrocities in Xinjiang province.

That move comes on the heel of a vote in the House of Commons last month when a majority of MPs — including most Liberals who participated — voted in favour of a Conservative motion declaring China's actions in Xinjiang a genocide, as defined by the 1948 United Nations Genocide Convention.

The final tally was 266 in favour and zero opposed. Two MPs formally abstained.

In response to these actions China imposed sanctions on Conservative MP Michael Chong, his party's foreign affairs critic. Sanctions were also placed on member of a Commons committee studying international human rights, which concluded in last fall that China's treatment of the Uyghurs amounted to genocide.

A Chinese diplomat in Brazil followed that up with the insult that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a "boy" whose only achievement was destroying Canada-Chinese relations. 

Rae also told host Vassy Kapelos that the brutal crackdown on protesters by the soldiers and police of Myanmar's military regime is putting the brutality coming out of that country on a stage visible to the entire world. 

"The [regime] had the advantage of secrecy and the advantage of incredible isolation in Myanmar," Rae said. "That's all gone. And now their cruelty, I think, is being revealed for all the world to see. It's horrendous."

The death toll in Myanmar has been steadily rising as authorities grow more forceful with their suppression of opposition to the Feb. 1 coup that ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. The coup reversed years of progress toward democracy after five decades of military rule.

You can watch full episodes of Power & Politics on CBC Gem, the CBC's streaming service.

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