Statement by Minister Cannon on Incidents in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region

(No. 190 - July 6, 2009) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement regarding reports of the deadly riots in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region:

“The Government of Canada is alarmed at reports of violence and high numbers of casualties following yesterday’s protests in Xinjiang.

“We urge restraint on all sides and call on the Government of China to respect freedom of speech and information and the right to peaceful protest. Dialogue and goodwill are required to help resolve grievances and prevent further deterioration of the situation.

“Freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law are values fundamental to Canada’s foreign policy.

“Our embassy in Beijing is monitoring the situation closely. There have been no reports of Canadians in the affected area. Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada advises Canadians planning to travel to the region to exercise heightened caution and to inform Canadian consular officials of their travel plans.”

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874
international.gc.ca