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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.

Scoop: Trump-backed Perdue says he wouldn’t have certified Georgia 2020 results

Perdue at a December 2020 campaign event in Columbus, Ga. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue wouldn’t have signed the certification of the state’s 2020 election results if he had been governor at the time, the former Senate Republican told Axios.

  • “Not with the information that was available at the time and not with the information that has come out now. They had plenty of time to investigate this. And I wouldn’t have signed it until those things had been investigated and that’s all we were asking for," he said.

Why it matters: There has been no evidence widespread fraud took place in Georgia's elections last year and the November results were counted three times, once by hand.

Beijing Olympics: These countries have announced diplomatic boycotts

Photo: Zhang Qiang/VCG via Getty Images

Several countries, including Canada and Australia, have announced they will join the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to protest human rights abuses committed by China's government.

Driving the news: Leaders have faced pressure from human rights groups and others to boycott the Games, pointing to the ongoing genocide of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang region and other abuses.

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