French lawmakers have condemned the Chinese government’s treatment of the Uyghur people with an official resolution calling it a “genocide.”
On Tuesday, France’s National Assembly adopted the non-binding resolution that “officially recognizes the violence perpetrated by the People’s Republic of China against the Uyghurs as constituting crimes against humanity and genocide,” reported Agence France-Presse.
Filed by the opposition Socialists Party, the motion gained support from President Emmanuel Macron’s Republic on the Move (LREM) party, receiving 169 votes in favor and only one vote against.
The parliamentary resolution urges the national government to protect the Uyghur minority group by taking “the necessary measures within the international community and in its foreign policy towards the People’s Republic of China.”
Socialist Party leader Olivier Faure recalled how the Uyghur survivors testified in the French parliament that those detained in internment camps in Xinjiang suffered abuse such as rape and torture.
“China is a great power,” Faure was quoted as saying. “We love the Chinese people. But we refuse to submit to propaganda from a regime that is banking on our cowardice and our avarice to perpetrate a genocide in plain sight.”
China has long denied allegations of abuse, claiming they use the camps to provide vocational training and to fight extremism, reported Reuters.
The Chinese embassy in France published a statement on its website, saying, “The sensationalist allegations concerning Xinjiang such as ‘genocide’ are pure lies based on prejudices and hostility towards China.”
Lawmakers in Britain adopted a similar resolution last year, while the Netherlands and Canada parliaments have also officially recognized the Chinese treatment of the Uyghurs as “genocide.”