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"Freedom for Uyghurs" demonstration in the Netherlands. Photo: Romy Arroyo Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Dutch parliament on Thursday passed a nonbinding motion recognizing China's treatment of its Uyghur Muslim minority in the northwestern region of Xinjiang as "genocide."

Why it matters: The Dutch parliament is the first legislature in Europe to determine that China's campaign of surveillance, mass detention, forced labor and sterilization of Uyghurs amounts to genocide, a judgment also shared by the U.S. State Department and the Canadian parliament.

What they're saying: "A genocide on the Uyghur minority is occurring in China," the motion stated, according to Reuters.

  • Yes, but: The parliament did not directly name the Chinese government as responsible.

Between the lines: Government ministers in both Canada and the Netherlands either abstained or voted against the resolutions, as a formal designation of genocide has legal ramifications that could make dealing with the Chinese government extremely difficult.

  • Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok instead called the situation a "large-scale human rights violations against Uyghurs," per Politico.

The big picture: The move comes at a time when many European countries are grappling with how to balance economic ties with China, the world's second-largest economy, while addressing its growing authoritarianism and rampant human rights abuses.

Go deeper: EU strikes investment deal with China despite forced labor concerns

Go deeper

Feb 24, 2021 - World

Blinken says U.S. will seek seat on UN Human Rights Council

Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Photo: Pete Marovich/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Wednesday the U.S. will seek election to the United Nations Human Rights Council next year after the country left the body during the Trump administration.

Why it matters: The council is a body of 47 countries and is responsible for promoting and protecting human rights around the globe.

Biden announces small business tax credits for vaccine PTO

Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Wednesday will call on all employers to provide employees paid time off to get vaccinated or to recover from any side effects, and he'll include a paid tax credit for small businesses to do so, administration officials said.

Why it matters: The administration sees places of work as highly influential in making shots more convenient for working adults who are in high-risk industries.

White House unveils plans for high-profile climate summit

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Biden administration offered new details this morning about the big, virtual climate summit Thursday and Friday and signaled they expect new emissions reduction and climate finance commitments from multiple countries.

Driving the news: The administration said 40 heads of state would attend, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil.

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