The Dutch parliament on Thursday passed a non-binding motion saying the treatment of the Muslim Uighur minority in China amounted to genocide, the first such move by a European country, Al Jazeera reported.
“A genocide on the Uighur minority is occurring in China,” the Dutch motion said, stopping short of directly saying that the Chinese government was responsible.
Activists and UN rights experts say at least one million Muslims have been detained in camps in the remote western region of Xinjiang. The activists and some Western politicians accuse China of using torture, forced labour and sterilisations.
China denies any human rights abuses in Xinjiang and says its camps provide vocational training and are needed to fight hardline views.
The Chinese Embassy in The Hague said on Thursday any suggestion of genocide in Xinjiang was an “outright lie” and the Dutch parliament had “deliberately smeared China and grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs”.
Canada passed a resolution labelling China’s treatment of the Uighurs genocide earlier this week.
In a press conference on Tuesday, US State Department Spokesman Ned Price also said that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has been “very clear” that what has taken place in Xinjiang “was genocide” and that it constitutes “crimes against humanity”.