On Friday, March 19, 2021, a coalition of peace organizations organized a cross-Canada Zoom panel discussion, entitled “Genocide in Xinjiang? – a Discovery Zoom Panel.”
Participants in the panel included Mme. Lu Xu, China’s Consul General in Calgary; Omar Latif, long-time activist in Toronto and recent visitor to China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region; Daniel Dumbrill, prolific Canadian YouTuber living in China; and Max Blumenthal, award-winning US, investigative journalist and founder of the Grayzone. The moderator was Dr. Radhika Desai, Director, Geopolitical Economy Research Group, University of Manitoba.
The panel discussion occurred at March 19th, 8 pm EDT. This Zoom panel discussion followed on the heels of a unanimous vote of the Canadian House of Commons on February 22, 2021, on non-binding Motion #56, moved by Erin O’Toole’s Conservative Party and supported by the NDP, Greens, Bloc Quebecois, as well as many Liberal back-benchers. Motion #56 labelled China’s treatment of its Uyghur population a “genocide” and urged the Trudeau government to move the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 to Canada.
“That Conservative Motion #56 passed unanimously in the House is an insult, not only to China, but to Canadians as well,” noted Ken Stone of the Hamilton Coalition To Stop The War. “No proper investigation was conducted by Parliament prior to the vote, and the hearings of its Subcommittee on International Human Rights were deliberately one-sided and stacked with special interest groups who are funded by, and take their orders from, Washington.” “Just like the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the passage of Motion #56 is dragging Canada into a new cold war with China,” he added.
“Uyghurs in China are growing in number and prosperity,” said Jonathan Dai of Edmonton, President of the China-Canada Council for Cooperation and Development. “Our panel will show that the group of 50 plus countries was correct to laud China at the UN for lifting its Uyghur population out of poverty and terrorism. Conservative Motion #56 was intended to drive a wedge between China and Canada which, until recently, had 50 years of good political and economic relations.” He added, “What is urgently needed now is a Canadian fact-finding mission to China composed of MPs, academics, faith and labour leaders, in order to ascertain what is really happening in Xinjiang today.”
Miguel Figueroa, President of the Canadian Peace Congress, observed that, “the embarrassing slavishness of the Canadian Parliament to US foreign policy, whether it was arresting Meng Wanzhou on the orders of the Trump Administration or labelling the Chinese government as genocidal following the example of the Biden Administration, shows that it’s time for a new and independent foreign policy for this country.”
The sponsors of the Cross-Canada Day of Action were the China-Canada Council for Cooperation and Development, the Canadian Peace Congress, the Hamilton Coalition To Stop The War, and Just Peace Advocates.
On May 20, an all-star panel discussed the latest in the Meng Wanzhou case. In addition, how the case relates to anti-China propaganda and the rise in anti-Asian racism were explored.