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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

Apr 21, 2021 - World

China's Xi accepts invitation to Biden's climate summit

Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend President Biden's virtual climate summit this week, according to China's foreign ministry.

Why it matters: It'll mark the first time the two leaders have met face to face — albeit virtually — since Biden took office. China and the U.S. are the world's two largest carbon emitters.

Fed chair says he isn't concerned by Delta surge

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell at the G20 finance ministers and central bankers meeting in Venice last month. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP via Getty Images

One of the country's most influential economic officials doesn't anticipate that surging coronavirus cases will knock the reopening recovery off course.

What he's saying: "There has tended to be less economic implications from each [coronavirus] wave. We'll see if that's the case for the Delta variety," Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told reporters today.

Updated 2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Ubisoft workers demand company accountability in open letter

Photo: Frederic Brown / Getty Images

Close to 500 current and former employees of “Assassin’s Creed” publisher Ubisoft are standing in solidarity with protesting game developers at Activision Blizzard with a letter that criticizes their company's handling of sexual misconduct.

Why it matters: Ubisoft and Activision Blizzard workers are framing the actions as part of a bigger movement meant to have lasting change in the industry and its culture.