France will not take the risk of offending China on the opening day of the Beijing Olympics, Friday February 4. In the National Assembly, there was a debate that day on a motion for a resolution denouncing “a serious risk of ongoing genocide” against the Uighur Muslim minority in the Xinjiang region of China. On Monday 24 January, the Presidency of the Assembly decided to withdraw it from the agenda. This calendar, established a long time ago, had not been designed according to the sporting event, but was a matter of pure parliamentary cuisine.
This transpartisan text had been supported by opposition MP Frédérique Dumas for many months and was to be discussed as part of the parliamentary initiative day of her group, Libertés et Territoires (LT, which brings together elected center left and Center-right).
A first resolution, presented by the Socialists and Related Group, was adopted on January 20 (169 votes for, 1 against, 5 abstentions). qualified as« historical » by the Uighur Institute of Europe, it recognizes and denounces “the genocidal nature” of the ongoing repression in China, now widely documented.
“The text of the socialists did not allow action, explains Frédérique Dumas, ours yes, in that it repeated, with this different object, the jurisprudence of the International Court of Justice established in the Bosnia case: if the States are aware of a serious risk of genocide, they are in the obligation to act within the framework of the International Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. »
« Symbolic »
The British House of Commons, like the Belgian Parliament, have followed this path deemed to be more legally sound, with a view to calling for the establishment of an independent international investigation in Xinjiang.
According to the deputy, the presidential majority therefore contented itself with approving on 20 January a text which she herself recognized as « symbolic ». “The only concern of my colleagues from the Republic on the march was how China was going to take the case on the day of the opening of the Olympics. President Emmanuel Macron does not want to interfere with his relationship with Beijing ».
Although the two texts do not have the same object, nor the same consequences therefore, Richard Ferrand, the President of the National Assembly, judged in a letter addressed to the LT group on Tuesday that it was « same subject ». “Twice, one week apart, it would be proposed to the National Assembly to take a position on the crimes perpetrated against the Uighurs and to invite the government to direct its diplomatic action accordingly,” what the regulations would not allow, he writes to justify the impossibility of examining the resolution of Mme Dumas signed by 50 deputies.
Also listen Uighurs: A Century of Persecution