Heather du Plessis-Allan: Uighur genocide declaration a big test for PM

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Tue, 4 May 2021, 4:30PM

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Uighur genocide declaration a big test for PM

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Tue, 4 May 2021, 4:30PM

This is it: this is the test for the Prime Minister over China.

Is she going to put her money where her mouth is, and criticise China like she said she would? 

ACT is pushing for a vote in parliament on whether the human rights abuses of Uighur Muslims is genocide. The Greens back it.

But Labour refuses to back it. They discussed it caucus today but won’t say which way they decided. 

Now the trouble for the Jacinda Ardern here is that New Zealand has been copping it from western allies for cosying up to China.

We deliberately pull our punches on China to protect our trade relationship which is, as far as I’m concerned, exactly how we should behave.

But the PM can’t go around saying that because she has an international brand of kindness and all things good to protect to she likes to pretend that this isn’t happening. 

And we will criticise China when it’s due.

In fact as recently as yesterday she said “It would be a concern to anyone in New Zealand if the consideration was ‘Do we speak on this or are we too worried of economic impacts?'” 

Well, this is her test.

The UK Parliament has passed a similar motion, so has Canada’s parliament, so has Holland’s, so has the US.

It’s going to be very awkward if the reason this doesn’t get debated in parliament is because Labour prevents it.