Trudeau Refuses to Call Out Genocide of Uyghurs; China Upset Regardless

Written By Karl Fluri, Posted on February 20, 2021

Despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s willingness to call out Canada’s treatment of our indigenous population as genocide, and the cited importance of such a statement, this week he refused to do the same regarding China’s treatment of their Uyghur population.

In a press conference earlier this week Trudeau was asked about his government’s conclusion of the genocide occurring in China, and what kind of evidence it would take for him to make such a declaration. 

Trudeau states here that genocide is an “extremely loaded” word, and that it should be looked at in the case of the Uyghurs, but that he would be making this determination on facts and evidence while deferring to the international community, as to ensure “not to weaken the application of genocide in situations in the past”.

The “international community” which first urged Trudeau to condemn the acts of Canada against its indigenous people as genocide, back in 2018, was an effort lead by Saudi Arabia; not exactly known as a bastion of human rights.

Trudeau’s response to these efforts was slightly different, he was not so hesitant to use the “extremely loaded” terminology, meaning he must have agreed that Canada’s treatment of indigenous people falls under the definition of genocide.

I have acknowledged that I accept the findings of the report, and the issue that we have is that people are getting wrapped up in debates over a very important and powerful term. As I’ve said, we accept the finding that this was genocide. And we will move forward to end this ongoing national tragedy.

The question many are asking now is, exactly how does China’s treatment of its Uyghur population not fit this same definition? 


Genocide is defined as the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group, but in order to properly assess whether our two populations can be properly compared it is necessary to look at the treatment of both groups. 

First, we take a look at the history of Canada’s indigenous population. In the early days of this new world, now known as Canada, the indigenous population fought battles with the settlers who were looking to conquer their land; which was eventually accomplished through a mixture of force and treaty measures (many of which were also obtained by force). 

Once the land was theirs the settlers abused the indigenous population, there was systemic racism and subjugation as well as concerted efforts to destroy the culture, language, and race of the indigenous peoples. This was done through family separation, white adoption, cultural suppression, and residential schools, among many other barbaric practices which the apparently “cultured” settlers were bringing with them.

As this was a systemic and concerted effort on behalf of a large portion of our population, and our leaders, this would certainly fit the definition of cultural and racial genocide.


Now let’s take a look at China’s treatment of the Uyghurs. 

Racism against the Uyghur people is quite ubiquitous among the Chinese population. Job searches that mention light-skin, business’ which portray signs stating “No Uyghurs”, discrimination on certain visible culturally significant practices such as growing one’s facial hair, are all commonplace.

Researcher Adrian Zenz states that, with over 1.5 million people incarcerated in vocational training centres, China is likely currently engaged in the largest incarceration of an ethno-religious minority since the Holocaust. The number is now thought to be over 3 million incarcerated. The Uyghurs religious and cultural practices have essentially been outlawed, their religion has been labeled a mental illness by the government, and failure to comply with cultural subjugation generally leads to incarceration. 

Furthermore, birth rates are now being controlled, as methods such as forced sterilization, forced birth control, forced abortions, and incarceration has been established. Regarding the use of the term genocide, Zenz states


I have long argued that the atrocity in the region is cultural genocide, not a literal genocide. I do continue to believe that, generally speaking, the Chinese government does not intend to physically eradicate the Uyghurs and Kazakhs, just to integrate, subjugate, dominate and assimilate them. However, this is coupled with a policy of ethno-racial domination, as the government has brought millions of Han Chinese settlers to the regions with promises of high salaries, jobs and free housing.

The reason why now this has changed we do need to probably call it genocide is quite simply because the evidence now, for the first time, very specifically meets one of the five criteria set forth by the United Nations Convention for the Punishment and Prevention of the Crime of Genocide from 1948, which specifically says the suppression of birth.

There have been videos released of blindfolded Uyghurs being forced onto trains for transport

Yet with all of these facts and evidence clearly available to the international community, Justin Trudeau still hesitates to take a strong stand against what are some of the most abhorrent human rights abuses ever committed currently occurring in China. This despite a parliamentary subcommittee report submitted in October stating that China’s treatment of the Uyghurs does fit the definition of genocide. Seems strange for a leader who likes to paint himself as the defender of human rights everywhere.

In fact, many have called out Trudeau for his government’s continued work with Chinese industry, which under Xi Jinping’s dictatorial rule has become ever more controlled by the Chinese state, including our government’s latest announcement that they will partner with Huawei to fund projects across Canadian universities

This is a  move that has struck a chord with many Canadians seeing as the detention of Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou was largely the reason for China’s arbitrary detention of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.

The detention of Kovrig and Spavor was one action by the Chinese government that Canada has recently spoken out against, as along with 57 other nations we signed a declaration against such arbitrary detention. A decision for which Chinese critiques have been attacking Canada, and Trudeau’s government.

On Thursday, Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry demanded once again that Canada immediately release Meng and criticized the declaration as a “despicable and hypocritical act.”. Further stating

Canada colluded with some countries to issue a so-called declaration against arbitrary detention, and deliberately let the relevant people slander China’s arbitrary detention of Canadian citizens Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor… Canada’s so-called declaration looks more like a confession in which the Canadian side admits its mistake in the Meng Wanzhou case… On the one hand, the Canadian side advocates that it adheres to the rule of law, but on the other hand, it acts as an accomplice of the U.S. and arbitrarily detains Chinese citizens. 


The Chinese state loves to paint the case of Meng’s detention, and that of Kovrig and Spavor, as equally “despicable” and arbitrary, but this just plainly is not the case.

First-off Meng is being safely housed in a multi-million dollar home in British Columbia, her family was even recently granted a federal travel exemption during the pandemic so as to be able to visit her, she’s been provided with legal counsel to her satisfaction, and has been given every right in our courts. In fact, the only reason Meng is still is Canada, and has yet to be extradited to the US for her alleged crimes, is that the legal process is being followed. Meng and her attorneys have put forward numerous challenges to her extradition, which take time to be heard out and addressed through our court systems.


On the other hand, Kovrig and Spavor were taken into custody and held for months in awful conditions, without a single charge being laid against them. They were then charged with “espionage”, although absolutely no evidence for this has been put forward, and subsequently held more than 2 years now. 

Kovrig and Spavor are provided with very little contact with the outside world, and the circumstances surrounding their situation are anything but transparent. Based on comments from the Chinese state it appears as though the release of Meng would aid the negotiations for the Micheals release, but even there we are given no guarantees, not to mention that such a move would then endanger all Canadians abroad as other nations would know that we can be extorted if they are to simply kidnap a few Canadians.

Meng Wanzhou

Meng Wanzhou

Many have critiqued Trudeau, and his administration’s soft approach on China through the continued abuse of Canadians, other foreign citizens, foreign governments, as well as their own people. From constant apologies, to countless deals with the Chinese state and industry, including providing the world’s 2nd largest economy with millions in foreign aid, even as many of their state-owned companies take advantage of Canada’s wage subsidy program, Trudeau appears to want to avoid taking a strong opposition to China no matter the cost. Canadians are now wondering, is this simply a show of fear from our PM? 

In the face of such tensions world leaders, including even the CPC’s Erin O’Toole, are now calling for a boycott of the Beijing Olympics to show opposition to the genocide being committed in China, as well as the diplomatic issues surrounding their arbitrary detention of our citizens; yet, Trudeau seems unable to take even this very small step. 

Canada has always been known the world over as a nation with strong values and principles, but it appears more and more as though this is something this government is unwilling to fight to uphold.

Karl Fluri

One response to “Trudeau Refuses to Call Out Genocide of Uyghurs; China Upset Regardless”

  1. William Walter Kay says:

    Just curious about the source of the 3 million incarcerated factoid. I do hope the source isn’t that ludicrous kook, Zenz – you know the guy who is convinced the world is coming to an end and that all non-repentant Jews will burn in hell.