In the face of concerns that the Conservative motion to declare the Chinese government’s persecution of Muslim Uighurs a genocide could stir up anti-Asian sentiment, Steveston-Richmond East MP Kenny Chiu assured Richmond residents that his party is working hard to fight racism.
Supporters of the government of China here in Canada “are trying to tell others that this motion is against the Chinese, which is the furthest from the truth. I want to assure the citizens in Richmond who are of Chinese descent that Canadians are very clear about who has committed those crimes,” said Chiu, noting that anti-racism is another issue his part is focusing on.
Chiu argued the focus should be on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet who, he said, have turned their back on China’s ethnic Muslim Uighurs, who have been abused by the Chinese government.
The majority of Members of Parliament voted Monday in favour of the Conservative motion. However, Trudeau and all of his cabinet ministers were absent except for Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau, who abstained.
The motion also calls on the International Olympic Committee to move the 2022 Winter Olympics out of Beijing.
Chiu said this isn’t a new issue, reports, witnesses and evidence gathered by the House of Commons subcommittee on international human rights concluded that the Chinese government is conducting a genocide. The subcommittee held hearings on the subject from Oct. 16 to Dec. 11, 2018, which resulted in a comprehensive summary of evidence.
“So with all that, how could they (Justin Trudeau and his cabinet) not stand on the side of Canadian core values and voice for those oppressed people,” asked Chiu.
Chiu also recalled that Trudeau once acknowledged that Canada committed genocide against Indigenous peoples, but he didn’t use the same standard for China this time.
“If he actually uses the same standard measuring ourselves. How did he not take a position like what he did before? This is the weakest prime minister I’ve ever seen in the history of Canada. It’s such a shame to see what happened with my own eyes.”
Passing the motion also received support from many Richmondites, said Chiu, adding that it’s Canadians’ responsibility to speak out for those who can’t speak for themselves.
“We (Immigrants of Chinese descent) tried to escape the treatment they (the Chinese Communist Party) had on our predecessors and people who held different views. This motion is crystal clear; it’s showing how China’s Communist party treat their visible minorities and even conduct genocide behaviour against them,” said Chiu.