Latest Anti-China Motion in the House of Commons

On February 22, an anti-China motion was introduced in the House of Commons accusing China of "genocide."[1] The private member's opposition motion was put forward by Conservative Michael Chong (Wellington--Halton Hills, ON), and says: "(a) in the opinion of the House, the People's Republic of China has engaged in actions consistent with the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 260, commonly known as the 'Genocide Convention,' including detention camps and measures intended to prevent births as it pertains to Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims; and (b) given that (i) where possible, it has been the policy of the Government of Canada to act in concert with its allies when it comes to the recognition of a genocide, (ii) there is a bipartisan consensus in the United States where it has been the position of two consecutive administrations that Uyghur and other Turkic Muslims are being subjected to a genocide by the Government of the People's Republic of China, the House, therefore, recognize that a genocide is currently being carried out by the People's Republic of China against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims, and call on the government to officially adopt this position."

The motion carried following a recorded 266 yeas and zero nays. Members of the Trudeau cabinet were all absent for the vote with the exception of Minister of Foreign Affairs Marc Garneau who rose and stated for the record, "I abstain on behalf of the Government of Canada." A Bloc Québécois amendment to the motion was also passed calling on the International Olympic Committee to move the 2022 Winter Olympics "if the Chinese government continues this genocide."

Trudeau made the vote on the non-binding resolution a free vote for Liberal MPs. According to a statement Garneau released the day of the vote, it was an exercise in parliamentary democracy, so each member could make a determination based on available evidence. In fact, by both supporting and avoiding taking a position on the motion, it looks more like a crass pragmatic manoeuvre on the part of the Liberal government so that it can have its cake and eat it too. Garneau's statement had that written all over it. It said while the government was deeply disturbed by the "horrific reports of human rights violations in Xinjiang" and takes any allegations of genocide extremely seriously, Canada has the responsibility to work with others in the international community to ensure any such allegations are subject to a credible, independent investigation.  Four days later, Garneau and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken held their first bilateral meeting "to advance work on the Roadmap for a Renewed U.S.-Canada Partnership launched by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Joe Biden at their virtual meeting on February 23, 2021." A readout of their meeting said that one of the things the two agreed on was the need to coordinate and more closely align their approaches to China.

This follows another hostile motion against the People's Republic of China (PRC) that was introduced on the floor of the House in November 2020, which claimed that China was "threatening Canada's national interest and its values" and called for the government to "combat China's foreign operations in Canada."[2] It passed with the support of all four opposition parties and a handful of Liberal MPs, coming just days after the House of Commons subcommittee on international human rights released a report condemning China for committing "genocidal acts" against the Uyghur Muslim minority. That committee is typically used to come up with "background" to justify Canada’s foreign policy, especially when using "human rights" as a pretext for interfering in the affairs of other countries and peoples is on the agenda. In this case, like for all its "studies on the situation in Venezuela" aimed at justifying Canada's role in the U.S. regime-change operation there, the committee’s report aligns with the "evidence" provided by the host of one-sided "witnesses" it called to testify before it. These included U.S.-funded NGOs and other dyed-in-the-wool anti-China figures claiming to be defenders of democracy and human rights, with none of those whose investigations and experience debunk the "Uyghur genocide" narrative invited to present their case.[3]

This ongoing campaign to demonize China is inspired by U.S. imperialist interests to isolate China and wipe it out as a global economic competitor. The economic and self-serving opposition to China is fueled by powerful private interests which are also fueling the so-called democratic uprising in Hong Kong, the reversal of the One China policy as concerns Taiwan and the U.S. war machine. Fabricating stories about what is taking place in China has nothing to do with the creation of modern democratic systems or sorting out problems on a peaceful political basis. This pretense to defend Muslim peoples has everything to do with pushing identity politics to divide and conquer. To believe that the likes of the U.S. and Canada give a damn about the Uyghurs is a real stretch of even the most turgid imagination. Self-serving promotion around issues raised in these resolutions, which is geared to create fears of foreign interference and foreign powers using Canadians as agents acting on their behalf, is to justify the strengthening of police powers in Canada to limit speech, so-called hate propaganda and a lot more. Now they have added the heinous crime of genocide to their lexicon of buzzwords which trivializes the meaning of the words and distorts the historical record to justify crimes in the present.

February 24 marked the 133rd anniversary of the first full-scale attack on labourers of Chinese origin in Vancouver in 1887 organized by Keep Canada White official circles which also promoted anti-Chinese propaganda. One attack after another took place against the Chinese. The federal government collected upwards of $23 million in Head Tax from Chinese citizens before the Chinese Immigration Act of 1923 effectively halted arrivals from China altogether. In 1925, houseboy Wong Foon Sing was kidnapped and tortured on orders from BC's Attorney General, who said he was suspected of killing a housemaid from the Shaughnessy subdivision of Vancouver.

Canada was founded on the basis of committing genocide against the Indigenous nations and the racist treatment of Chinese, Japanese and East Indians as well as declaring the superiority of the so-called English and French "founding nations" to the detriment of all others. 

To say, after everything the Canadian state has done for over 100 years, that some Canadians may be acting on behalf of a foreign power whether consciously or without their knowledge and the state must defend us strains credulity. It is to take a page out of the playbook which justified the internment of not only the Japanese -- whose houses, land and fishing fleets then all went into the hands of the Keep Canada White proponents -- but also Germans, Ukrainians, Japanese, Italians, communists and others who were also interned during World War II claiming they were enemy aliens.

Providing the secret security services with impunity to monitor, restrict and criminalize activities of those the state has labelled as actual or potential enemies, spies and ideological extremists is not going to solve a single problem facing the people. It is an act which sows the wind and no amount of propaganda aimed at wrecking political cohesion and disinforming the people's striving for empowerment will help those who are doing such things avoid the whirlwind which will come their way. So long as the criteria are to be kept secret in the name of national security, what is being promoted is to permit security services like the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Communications Security Establishment to surveil all opinions regarding politics and international affairs with no concern for what Canadians feel, think, or want. Self-serving polls financed by the very same forces doing such things are part of the problem, not a solution.

It is clear that this latest motion against China was inspired by accusations originating from both the Trump and Biden administrations. As the motion indicates, "there is a bipartisan consensus by two consecutive administrations that Uyghur and other Turkic Muslims are being subjected to a genocide by the Government of the People's Republic of China." Investigation has revealed that the original accusation that China is committing genocide, made by Trump's Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who is virulently anti-China, and the subsequent agreement by Biden's Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, stem from a single source: a June 2020 paper by German researcher Adrian Zenz. Far from being "one of the world's leading scholars on the People's Republic of China," as he claims, Zenz is in fact an avowed far-right Christian fundamentalist and anti-communist whose main work consists of attacking the Chinese Communist Party. He is affiliated with the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation and neo-conservative Jamestown Foundation in Washington, DC. A close review of Zenz's research reveals flagrant data abuse and outright falsehoods.[4]

Shame on the Conservatives for proposing the motion and on all the cartel parties in the House of Commons who went along with it without hesitation. Whatever the Liberal Party government is up to with its silence and abstention on the motion will be revealed as it further conspires with the U.S. administration to attack China, justify bogus extradition proceedings against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, and shenanigans to get two Canadians imprisoned in China released. This is the kind of discourse which claims to be speaking on behalf of Canadians and is used to determine Canada's "national interest."

The recent issue of TML dealing with anti-China propaganda points out: "These private interests have taken over the U.S. state, to which they have subordinated the Canadian state. They use their apparatus of disinformation and budgets to put the full weight of their states behind wiping out their competition. The people of the countries which comprise the imperialist system of states are supposed to take sides."

Writing about such matters in 1996, TML pointed out: "All the human rights groups should think about these matters extremely seriously. In so far as the PRC is concerned, it is right to oppose this interference in the internal affairs of other countries under the pretext of defending human rights. All human rights groups, all political parties, all peace- and justice-loving people of the world should denounce and oppose U.S. imperialism and all other imperialists and reactionaries who are providing justifications for interventions, aggressions and war. At the same time, they must fight for human rights in their own countries which requires profound deep-going transformations in the constitutional, legal-juridical, economic, political and cultural fields. Only those countries and peoples who have provided constitutional guarantees for the rights of all members of society, including human rights, equal political rights, women's rights, etc. will have the moral right to speak about the same internationally. If this is not done, there is a danger that even with the best wishes in the world, one will become an apologist and spokesperson of U.S. imperialism and other imperialists and reactionaries. These imperialists are relying on utter confusion about the question of rights amongst their own people and the world's people in order to find pretexts to continue to violate civil and political rights of their own people and to divert them from even discussing the modern definition of human rights. No one must become a tool of their interventions in the internal affairs of other countries and justify their aggressions against others. Such a situation holds grave danger for the peoples of the world including that of a cataclysmic inter-imperialist world war. The working class and the broad masses of the people must be in the forefront to ensure that this does not happen."


1. The legal definition of genocide under the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948) is: "Any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

2. See "'Yellow Peril' Hysteria All Over Again," Pauline Easton, TML Weekly, December 19, 2020.

3. See "Subcommittee report declaring 'Uighur Genocide' dominated by researchers and groups funded by CIA cut-out, National Endowment for Democracy," Aidan Jonah,, February 22, 2021.

4. See "U.S. State Department accusation of China 'genocide' relied on data abuse and baseless claims by far-right ideologue,"Gareth Porter and Max Blumenthal,, February 18, 2021.

This article was published in

Volume 51 Number 6 - February 28, 2021

Article Link:


Website:   Email: