Twitter removed a post from the Chinese embassy in the United States that claimed that Uighur women had “emancipated themselves” from extremism and were no longer “baby-making machines.” The post was linked to an article denying allegations of forced sterilization in Xinjiang.
Twitter said the post had “violated Twitter’s rules” but did not provide further details.
The post was linked to an article by state spokesperson China Daily, saying: “The study shows that in the process of eradicating extremism, the minds of Uygur women in Xinjiang were emancipated and gender equality and reproductive health were promoted. , making them stop being babies – make machines. They are more secure and independent. “
The phrase was taken directly from the accompanying article, which said that an unpublished study by the Xinjiang Development Research Center found that declines in the region’s birth rate and population growth rate in 2018 were due to the eradication of religious extremism.
“The changes were not caused by the ‘forced sterilization’ of the Uygur population, as some Western academics and politicians repeatedly claim,” he said, naming German researcher Adrian Zenz, who specializes in Xinjiang and Tibet examining Chinese government documents. His research is a primary source of information on labor programs in both regions and has drawn the ire of Chinese state media.
Later, the Twitter account of the Chinese embassy republished the story with a different caption: “The study shows that the population change in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China implies an overall improvement in the quality of the population. An increasing number of young people decided to devote more time and energy to personal development. “
Other reports from Chinese state media said women were “spontaneously” using free IUDs and tubal ligation (a form of permanent surgical contraception), and changes in the birth rate were due to government limits of three children per family, poverty alleviation and improvements in the education; and changes in cultural practices and religious opposition to contraception.
In recent years, China has stepped up its crackdown on Muslim ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region, including the mass internment of approximately one million people, intense human and digital surveillance, re-education programs, suppression of religious activity, and destruction. of religious places. forced labor and forced sterilization of women. Experts have said the policies amount to cultural genocide. China rejects the accusations, saying the camps are vocational training centers needed to combat religious extremism and terrorism.
Extensive research The Associated Press found that authorities subjected hundreds of thousands of Uighur women to pregnancy tests, forced intrauterine devices, sterilization and abortions. The AP found that birth rates collapsed by more than 60% between 2015 and 2018 in the largely Uighur regions of Hotan and Kashgar, compared with a 4.2% drop across the country. The AP said its findings were based on government statistics, state documents and interviews with 30 former detainees, family members and a former detention camp instructor.
Statistics on the declining birth rate and population growth among Uighurs in Xinjiang have been known for months, however the Chinese authorities have not previously attributed them to their “eradication of extremism” programs.
In response to a CNN article on similar findings, the Chinese government said the drop in the birth rate was due to “comprehensive implementation of family planning policy.” He did not question the figures in the report.
In September, a Uighur woman, Sidik, told The Guardian that she was forced to have an IUD at the age of 47 and was sterilized three years later. He said that a text message, seen by The Guardian, came from the authorities and said: “Do not play with your life, do not try.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism