Australia’s parliament has shot down a motion to recognise the treatment of ethnic minority Uygurs in Xinjiang as genocide, following declarations by the United States , Canada and the Netherlands that drew a furious response from Beijing. The motion died in the Australian Senate on Monday after the governing Liberal Party-led Coalition and main opposition Labor Party united to block a formal vote on the proposal. The Senate voted 33-12 against the proposed resolution, which would have probably placed further strain on the already fraught relations between Canberra and Beijing . Why is Isis silent on China’s Uygur Muslims, when US alleges genocide? The left-leaning Australian Greens and several independents voted in favour of the resolution, which would have called on Beijing to end “torture and abuse in detention centres” and the “persecution of Uygurs and other religious and ethnic minorities in Xinjiang and elsewhere in China”. Government and Labor Party senators said they did not believe the motion was the best way to deal with human rights issues, with Liberal Senator Jonathan Duniam insisting Australia continued to be “deeply concerned” by reports of enforced disappearances, mass detentions, and forced labour in Xinjiang. Independent Senator Rex Patrick, who proposed the motion, accused the two main parties of handing Beijing a “victory” by self-censoring on human rights conditions in China . “While a number of Coalition and Labor members have self-styled themselves as ‘wolverines’ on the issue of China, today they have proved to be all huff and puff and nothing more when it came to calling out what is an immense crime against humanity,” Patrick said. Patrick, who represents the state of South Australia, is one of the Australian parliament’s most vocal critics of Beijing. In December, Patrick introduced legislation that would ban the import of all goods made in Xinjiang, as well as goods suspected of being produced through forced labour elsewhere in China. As Australia mulls ban on Xinjiang-made goods, why is China being singled out? Earlier on Monday, he joined Uygur activists for a rally outside Parliament House in Canberra to draw attention to Beijing’s policies in the autonomous region. The failed resolution comes after the Canadian and Dutch parliaments last month passed motions accusing Beijing of perpetrating genocide in Xinjiang, following a similar declaration by the US State Department in January. The United Nations has cited “credible reports” from human rights groups that one million mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are being held against their will in what Beijing refers to as centres for “transformation-through-education” in China’s westernmost region. Beijing has described reports of genocide in Xinjiang as “the lie of the century made up by extremely anti-China forces”, insisting its “vocational education and training centres” respect minorities’ religious beliefs and have slashed poverty and violent extremism. Canberra has resisted labelling conditions in Xinjiang as genocide, while expressing concerns about reported human rights abuses and calling for UN monitors to be given unfettered access to the region. In an television interview this month, Foreign Minister Marise Payne said Canberra had a “slightly different approach to that turn of phrase” than countries such as the US and Canada, but was “examining closely” the possibility of such a declaration. Relations between Australia and China have sunk to their lowest point in decades over the past year, amid disputes touching on the Covid-19 pandemic , trade, allegations of interference and espionage, and conditions in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.