Beijing receives a historical slap in the face. But will France act consequently?
by Massimo Introvigne
The United States, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Canada… And now, France. On January 20, 2022, the French National Assembly voted, with 169 “yes” and only one “no,” a resolution stating that the Assembly “officially recognizes the violence perpetrated by the People’s Republic of China against the Uyghurs as constituting crimes against humanity and genocide.”
The nearly unanimous vote signals a bipartisan consensus. The resolution was proposed by the Socialist opposition, but President Macron’s party also supported it. The language is clear, and the slap in the face of Beijing and the CCP on the eve of the Olympics undeniable.
Yet, questions remain. These parliamentary resolutions are non-binding and have no direct legal consequences. What will the French government do? Will it continue in its business as usual with a government guilty of “crimes against humanity and genocide”? Will companies with ties to a criminal and genocidal government continue to be allowed to buy French industries, hotels, and even Bordeaux vineyards? Will products coming from Uyghur slave labor continue to be imported into France? Will countries currently being bullied by China such as Lithuania be supported by France?
Ultimately, it will be the answers to these questions that would prove that the resolution of January 20 included more than mere words.
Yet, the CCP knows that even independently from what will happen next the words “crimes against humanity and genocide” will remain forever. These are not words used lightly or frequently. For this, the French parliamentarians deserve our gratitude.