China condemned a French parliament resolution on Friday that accuses Beijing of carrying out a genocide against its Uyghur Muslim population, a move that has strained ties two weeks before the Winter Olympics. The resolution adds to a chorus of western nations that have criticised Beijing for placing around one million Uyghurs in forced labour camps, terming “the violence perpetrated by the People’s Republic of China against the Uyghurs as constituting crimes against humanity and genocide”.
France’s National Assembly joins Canada, the Netherlands, Britain and Belgium in having parliaments where lawmakers have passed similar motions. The United States government has formally accused China of genocide in western Xinjiang.
But China rejects such accusations and hit out at French lawmakers on Friday. “The French National Assembly’s resolution on Xinjiang ignores facts and legal knowledge and grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a regular press briefing. “China firmly opposes it.”