Citing "crimes against humanity and genocide" against the Uyghur Muslim minority in China’s Xinjiang province, the French Parliament on Thursday passed a non-binding motion urging French authorities to condemn Beijing.
The measure, which passed 169-1, was led by the Socialist and other opposition parties.
In addition to condemning China, the motion urges the government to protect France’s Uyghur immigrant community from harassment by China.
The Chinese Embassy in France called the move absurd and said it would harm relations between the two countries.
“The French side is fully aware of the absurdity and harmfulness of this resolution. It must show coherence between word and deed and take concrete actions to safeguard the healthy development of Sino-French relations,” the embassy said in a statement.
China is accused of carrying out genocide and forced labor against the province’s large Uyghur Muslim population. It denies the accusations.
The move comes on the eve of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Several western countries, including the United States, Britain and Australia have announced “diplomatic boycotts” of the games and will not send delegations to attend.
French President Emmanuel Macron in December questioned the effectiveness of such boycotts and said he didn’t want to “politicize” the games.
Last year, the Dutch Parliament passed a similar resolution which earned a sharp rebuke from Beijing. Italy and Belgium have condemned China over Xinjiang but did not use the term genocide.
Some information in this report comes from Reuters.