Exclusive Video: UK Parliamentarians Declare China Is Committing Genocide in Xinjiang

British MPs approved a motion in the House of Commons on Thursday to declare that genocide is taking place against the Muslim Uyghurs and others in the Xinjiang region of China, representing a landmark parliamentary stance on the issue.

The vote is essentially symbolic, as it does not compel the British government to take action. But the censure signals in the strongest terms to date lawmakers’ willingness to challenge the repressive regime of the Chinese Communist Party and sends a clear signal to the international community of its position. The United States of America, Canada, and the Netherlands have similarly branded the Chinese government’s actions in the region as genocide.

However, the vote was not unanimous amongst the ruling Conservatives because ministers did not vote, as the government opposed the motion, according to the BBC. Asia Minister Nigel Adams said that while there was credible evidence of the oppression of minorities, slave labour, and concentration camps, “Determining whether a situation amounts to genocide or crimes against humanity is an issue for competent national and international courts after consideration of all the available evidence.”

In footage from Breitbart London’s Kurt Zindulka ahead of the vote, Sir Iain Duncan Smith, one of several lawmakers sanctioned by the CCP last month, declared at a demonstration outside of the Palace of Westminster: “We are determined that Parliament today will set a historic moment in calling out what is I believe genocide.”

Kurt Zindulka

“We aren’t going to stop there. We aren’t going to stop there,” the former Conservative Party leader said defiantly. “The Chinese government has to be called to account for its treatment of the Uyghur people, of the Tibetans, and many other minority groups. It’s not good enough, just because it is a big and wealthy country, to allow it to dodge the normal rules that police the rest of us.

“Genocide is the crime of all crimes, and nobody and no state should ever commit it.”

Conservative MP Nusrat Ghani, another sanctioned MP, put forward the motion and said on Thursday she hoped the vote, while a “small step”, would “try and encourage the United Nations to do the right thing” and encourage the British government to “change our relationship with China”.

Tim Loughton, another Tory MP who wears his Chinese sanctions “as a badge of honour”, said: “We will be raising the plight of not just the Uyghurs but the Tibetans, the people of Hong Kong, and everybody who is subject to Chinese oppression.”

Addressing the small group of demonstrators, including those from the Uyghur community and supporters of Tibet, Mr Loughton continued: “For too long, China has got away with it because people don’t call them out and they don’t stand up to China. Today, we will continue to stand up to China, and we will join with you and with parliamentarians and others around the world to say to China: You will not get away with this any more. We are calling you out.”

In response, the Chinese Embassy in London claimed that the declaration of genocide was “the most preposterous lie of the century, an outrageous insult and affront to the Chinese people, and a gross breach of international law and the basic norms governing international relations”.

Estimates had suggested that at its peak, there were as many as three million people in China’s concentration camp system, with that number dropping to around two million amidst reports that the CCP had sold prisoners to work as slave labour in factories around the world.

One young woman at the demonstration told Breitbart News that most of her male cousins and uncles in Xinjiang, also referred to as East Turkestan, had been imprisoned in 2014 for up to 15 years.

“The most heartbreaking thing is that I found out about their imprisonment six years later. Now I know that they are in an even worse condition, maybe even dead,” she said.

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