Pompeo takes parting shot . . .
In one of his final acts in office, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced today that the U.S. government has determined China’s actions against the Uyghur Muslim minority in Xinjiang province constitute “genocide” and “crimes against humanity.” While the declaration was not unexpected, such pronouncements are made only in the most serious of circumstances. Today’s declaration limits the incoming Biden administration's options to determine its own position on Uyghur repression. However, analysts had expected Biden to take a strong position as he referred to China’s “genocide” against Uyghurs during his campaign.
UK parliament debates, ultimately rejects 'genocide amendment' . . .
Today, the U.K. government narrowly defeated measures aimed at preventing the government from finalizing trade agreements with countries found by the U.K. courts to be committing genocide. The amendment had passed the House of Lords, and was seen as targeting China’s repression of the Uyghurs. The measure was defeated by a vote in the Commons of 319 to 308. Responding to the defeat, independent peer Lord Alton, co-sponsor of the amendment, said: “The fight does not end here. We will continue to do all we can to ensure that Uyghurs and other victims of alleged genocide have a route to justice through U.K. courts.” British ministers, meanwhile, have stated they do not intend to pursue a trade deal with China, although growing the country’s access to foreign markets is an important imperative given Britain’s departure from the EU.
Canada’s Xinjiang exposure . . .
According to recent reporting, Canada is among the top five foreign investors in Xinjiang, having invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the region over the last 20 years. Canadian Solar, the Ontario-headquartered global renewable energy giant, remains active in the region, as are two Canadian junior mining companies. This information was published today by The Globe and Mail and was reportedly obtained through a member of the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence alliance, although the Globe agreed not to identify the source, as it was not authorized to share the analysis. As scrutiny intensifies on China’s repression of the Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang, Canada may come under pressure to enact similar policies as those being currently debated in the U.K.
- Bloomberg: Pompeo labels Uighur crackdown ‘genocide’ in final shot at China
- The Globe and Mail: Canadian firms operate in China’s Xinjiang region
- The Guardian: UK free to make trade deals with genocidal regimes after Commons vote