New Zealand's parliament has passed a motion condemning China's treatment of Uighur people as "severe human rights abuses", falling short of labelling it genocide.
China stands accused of illegally jailing its own citizens in the Muslim-majority Xinjiang region, with credible reports that mass abuse, sterilisation and attacks on religious freedom are taking place in ghastly "re-education camps".
Other nations, including Australia and New Zealand, are grappling with how to address these abuses, given China's diplomatic, economic and military might.
New Zealand's parliamentary debate on Wednesday followed similar debates in the UK and Canada, driven by conservative detractors of China.
Both the UK and Canada passed unanimous motions declaring China's actions as genocide - but with abstentions from government members.
In New Zealand, a similar motion was brought by right-wing opposition party Act, gaining support from left-wing minority parties the Greens and the Maori Party.
Before it reached the floor of the house, it was watered down by Jacinda Ardern's governing Labour party in a closed-doors meeting.
Instead of labelling China as responsible for "crimes against humanity and genocide", the motion was softened to read "severe human rights abuses".
Ms Ardern said having the full support of all parties made New Zealand's condemnation more effective.
"We have a statement that is strong and that is clear and that has the support of parliament. I'm pleased by that," she said.
On Tuesday, both Labour's Trade Minister Damien O'Connor and opposition leader Judith Collins said NZ's trade relationship would be hit if it made a declaration of genocide.
"Clearly the Chinese government wouldn't like something like that. I have no doubt it would have some impact (with trade). That's hardly rocket science," Mr O'Connor said.
Act deputy leader Brooke van Velden said Labour was guilty of cowardice.
"We know that a genocide is taking place. The evidence is voluminous, from multiple sources and credible," she said.
"Here in New Zealand other parties, who had the power of veto, would not allow this debate to proceed if the motion mentioned genocide.
"(I) had to dilute it and soften it to gain the approval of New Zealand's governing party."
The amended wording brought the motion in line with a March statement by Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta issued jointly with Australia.
Ms Mahuta defended the government's record of rebuking China - both in public and private - over the issue.
"We have not formally designated the situation as constituting a genocide. This is not due to a lack of concern," she said.
"Genocide is the gravest of international crimes, and a formal legal determination should only be reached following a rigorous assessment on the basis of international law."
NZ and Australia continue to call for a United Nations-backed probe of the region.
Australian Associated Press