This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 16, 2020.
OTTAWA — The Chinese government is firing back at Canada's ambassador to the United Nations for calling on the UN to investigate whether China's persecution of ethnic Muslim Uighurs in its Xinjiang province is a genocide.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian says Bob Rae's comments are "ridiculous" and that Canada itself better fits the description of having perpetrated a genocide.
Zhao made the comments during a news conference in Beijing after Rae told the CBC on Sunday that he has asked the UN Human Rights Council to investigate China's treatment of Uighurs in Xinjiang.
Zhao used statistics on population growth rates in Canada and among China's Uighurs to prove his point that the latter are not being persecuted.
However, Zhao's statistics appear to have been incomplete or inaccurate and do not address a report by The Associated Press in June that birthrates have been dramatically cut in Uighur-dominated areas of Xinjiang.
China has been accused using forced birth control to limit Uighur births, and detention camps to indoctrinate the Muslim minority into mainstream Chinese society, allegations that Beijing has denied.
The Canadian Press