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Uyghur activists in London. Photo: David Cliff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Lithuania's parliament passed a resolution on Thursday recognizing China's repression of Uyghur Muslims as genocide, joining the U.S. government and the parliaments of the United Kingdom, Canada and the Netherlands in doing so.

Why it matters: China's campaign of mass detention, surveillance, forced sterilization and forced labor against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang has drawn international condemnation from human rights groups.

The big picture: While many Western governments have spoken out against China's human rights abuses, the U.S. is the only government to take the step of labeling the campaign against the Uyghurs as a genocide.

  • The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China has helped lead the effort among backbench lawmakers to hold Beijing accountable for its abuses, including through resolutions condemning its repression in Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Tibet.
  • Lithuania is one of several former Soviet states that have advocated for a harder line against Russia, China and other authoritarian governments.
  • In addition to recognizing the Uyghur genocide, Thursday's resolution also called on China to revoke its draconian national security law in Hong Kong.

What they're saying: "We support democracy, as we will never forget the cruel lesson of living under occupation by a Communist regime for 50 years," said Dovile Sakaliene, a Lithuanian lawmaker and IPAC co-chair who sponsored the resolution.

Go deeper: Axios interviewed Lithuania's deputy foreign minister on the country's "realistic" approach to China

Go deeper

Scoop: Bipartisan bill pushes Biden to act on Uyghur genocide

Photo by David Cliff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A bipartisan bill being introduced in the House Wednesday would hold President Biden accountable for taking tangible steps to address the Chinese Communist Party's genocide of the Uyghur population, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Amid concerns about a rapidly aging population, the government has begun encouraging Chinese women to have more children, after scrapping its previous "one-child" policy. But authorities in Xinjiang have implemented extremely restrictive new birth policies on Muslim ethnic minorities.

Bernie Sanders introduces resolution calling for Gaza ceasefire

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on April 29. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Wednesday will block a Republican resolution that underlines United States support for Israel, calling the GOP response to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict "destructive," his office said.

Why it matters: Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) will co-sponsor Sanders' alternative to the GOP resolution, his office told Axios' Alayna Treene. The resolution calls for the Senate to urge "an immediate cease-fire" and to protect the human rights of Israelis and Palestinians.

  • What to watch: The floor debate on the resolution begins Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. ET.

Pacific Northwest soon to be ground zero for record-shattering heat

Computer model projection showing the unusually strong heat dome over the Pacific Northwest on Sunday. (PivotalWeather).

A heat wave is bringing unprecedented high temperatures to the Pacific Northwest — a region of the country typically cooled by the ocean, rather than central air conditioning. The heat will begin Friday and last into early next week.

Why it matters: The heat wave will shatter monthly and all-time temperature records in the Pacific Northwest. Some of the records could break the old milestones by several degrees.

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