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Members of the Uyghur community and human rights activists protesting outside Parliament. Photo: David Cliff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The U.K.'s House of Commons unanimously approved a non-binding motion on Thursday to declare the Chinese government's repression of Uyghur Muslims to be a genocide.

Why it matters: British backbench lawmakers join the Dutch and Canadian parliaments, as well as the U.S. State Department, in recognizing China's sweeping campaign of mass detention, surveillance, forced labor and forced sterilization against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang as genocide.

Between the lines: The motion will not have an impact on the policies of the U.K. government, which has insisted that the attribution of genocide is a matter for the international courts, and fought against an amendment to give British courts jurisdiction in making the determination.

  • However, it is sure to exacerbate tensions between Beijing and London, whose relations have already been strained over China's crackdown on Hong Kong, a former British colony.
  • The U.K. responded to the imposition of a draconian national security law in the semi-autonomous city earlier this year by sanctioning Chinese officials and offering Hong Kongers a special visa and pathway to citizenship.

What they're saying: “Statements of solidarity mean a lot, but Uyghurs need them to be followed up with meaningful action," World Uyghur Congress U.K. director Rahima Mahmut said in a statement.

  • "Only when the Chinese government faces the consequences of its actions will it be deterred from further abuses. The Chinese government cannot be allowed to continue to carry out crimes against humanity and genocide with impunity."

Go deeper: U.S. human rights report documents China's "genocide" in Xinjiang

Go deeper

Jul 30, 2021 - World

Hong Kong protester sentenced to 9 years in first national security conviction

Hong Kong defendant Tong Ying-Kit arrives at court after being accused of deliberately driving his motorcycle into a group of police officers. Photo: Getty Images/Getty Images

Pro-democracy protester Tong Ying-kit was sentenced Friday to nine years in prison on charges of terrorism and inciting secession brought under Hong Kong’s national security law, AP reports.

Why it matters: The 24-year-old Tong is the first person convicted under the sweeping law, which China imposed last year to help crack down on massive protests that erupted in mid-2019.

45 mins ago - World

Putin is challenging Ukraine's "right to exist," Blinken says

Blinken (L) speaks in Berlin on Thursday. Photo: Kay Nietfeld - Pool/Getty

Secretary of State Tony Blinken put the stakes of a Russian invasion of Ukraine in stark terms on Thursday, saying Vladimir Putin's threat is a direct challenge to Ukraine's "right to exist" as an independent country and a democracy.

What he's saying: “There’s been a lot of speculation about President Putin’s true intentions, but we don’t actually have to guess. He’s told us, repeatedly. He’s laying the groundwork for an invasion because he doesn’t believe Ukraine is a sovereign nation," Blinken said during a speech in Berlin.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Jared Kushner wants to Trump-proof his private equity future

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Jared Kushner appears to have convinced the private equity market that he'll stick with his new firm, called Affinity Partners, even if his father-in-law returns to the White House.

The big picture: Private equity is littered with former presidential advisers and cabinet officials, and Trump's is proving to be no different.