Canadian politicians parrot debunked “Uyghur Genocide” narrative, while refusing to act on genocide against Indigenous Nations | Op-Ed
Written by: Jonathan Dai
(from The Canada Files)
I’m deeply concerned about what’s unfolding in the Canadian political landscape: baseless and malicious attacks on China. One glaring example was the recent House of Commons’ Motion 56, initiated by Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole. It called for Canadian government action (including moving the 2022 Beijing Winter Games to Canada) on the so-called “genocide against the Chinese Uyghurs.”
On March 22, Canada also joined the US, the UK, and the European Union in placing sanctions on Chinese officials, on the same accusations again.
The motion was based on evil-intentioned lies generated by one man, Adrian Zenz, an evangelical-Christian, anti-Semite sub-contractor to the US Central Intelligence Agency whose research methods have been thoroughly discredited. Nonetheless, Motion 56 passed unanimously, while only a few chose to abstain, without a single MP bothering to verify the truth of the matter!
The Canadian media and government deliberately turned a blind eye to the facts about China. Here are some:
1) Exempted from China’s “one-child” policy that only applied to the Han majority, minority populations have been continuously growing. Between 2010 and 2018, Xinjiang’s Uyghur population enjoyed a growth rate of 25.04%, surpassing the 2% growth rate for the Han population in the region;
2) Uyghurs are mostly Muslims, who gather and pray in mosques. Xinjiang boasts over 24,000 mosques, one for every 530 Muslims. That percentage is higher than most Muslim countries;
3) Xinjiang enjoyed a GDP growth of 7.2% from 2014-2019, the highest in China, and 3.04 million of its 25 million people were lifted out of poverty;
4) In October, 2020, 46 countries signed a Cuba-initiated letter at the U. N. to praise China for raising Xinjiang out of terrorism and poverty. Among the 46, 22 are Muslim countries, many of whom had sent fact-finding delegations to Xinjiang at the invitation of the Chinese government;
5) Uyghurs in China’s Xinjiang are safe, free, and enjoy schools, hospitals, newspapers, and street signs in their own language.
The growth rate of China’s Uyghur population, its cultural rights and abundant mosques for Muslims, increasing GDP, and overwhelming support from developing and Muslim countries does not qualify as genocide.
In the last 20 years, I visited China, my home country, almost twice a year, the last visit in November 2019. I saw, with my own eyes, the amazing progress China has made, and keep daily contacts with friends, former classmates, and students in various Chinese regions, including Xinjiang. Being a minority person myself and having lived in a Muslim-majority province in China, I know the western claim about “genocide” in Xinjiang is nothing but hot air.
The urgent focus of Canadians should instead be directed towards the ongoing genocide against Indigenous nations in Canada, rather than a clearly debunked “genocide” against Uyghurs in China”. In 2019, Prime Minister Trudeau accepted the findings of the 1200-page Final Report of MMIWG, which concludes that various Canadian colonial laws and policies were created with “the intent of destroying the Indigenous Peoples”, and that Canada has carried out “deliberate race, identity and gender-based genocide”.
Almost three years have passed and we have not seen implementation of any of the Report’s 231 “imperative recommendations.” Where’s the relentless effort from MPs to give Indigenous nations the resources to get out of poverty, fight systemic racism, and regain hope for the future? Instead, we see them shamelessly jumping on the US bandwagon to start a new cold war with China.
Selectively oblivious of Canada’s shameful colonial history, the 266 Canadian MPs are maneuvering Canada onto a dangerous path. Instead of building upon our positive historical friendship with China and benefitting from the world’s biggest market and most important peace-keeping force, they promote animosity and hatred between our two countries. They are attacking a state which has lifted over 800 million of its people out of poverty, has not fought a war in the last 42 years, and has been progressing in every aspect of human development: economy, environment protection, scientific and technology, infrastructure… you name it.
Canadian politicians are railing against a government supported by over 90% of its 1.4 billion citizens, representing 18.5% of the world’s population, which is soon to become the world’s most powerful country.
Wielding “genocide” claims as a weapon in a new cold war on China will foolishly drag Canada into an abyss, or, as the Chinese saying goes, “Smashing an egg upon a rock”.
As a proud Chinese-Canadian, who cares about our collective well-being, I call for Parliament to accept China’s offer for the Canadian government to send a fact-finding mission to Xinjiang to discover the true facts about its Uyghur population.
(Jonathan Dai is the Chair of the Canada-China Council for Cooperation and Development, and a resident of Edmonton.)