Twitter deleted a post from the U.S. Embassy in China claiming Uyghur women had been “emancipated” from extremism and were no longer “baby-making machines.” The post was linked to an article denying the allegations of forced sterilization in Xinjiang.
Twitter said the post had “broken Twitter rules” but did not provide further details.
The post was linked to an article by state spokesperson, China Daily, and said, “Study shows that in the process of eradicating extremism, the minds of Uighur women in Xinjiang have emancipated themselves. and gender equality and reproductive health have been promoted, so that they are no longer babies. make machines. They are more confident and independent. “
The sentence was taken directly from the attached article, according to which an unpublished study by the Xinjiang Development Research Center found that the region’s decline in the birth rate and population growth rate in 2018 was due to the eradication of religious extremism.
“The changes were not caused by the ‘forced sterilization’ of the Uighur population, as some Western academics and politicians have repeatedly asserted,” he said, noting by name German researcher Adrian Zenz, who specializes in Xinjiang and Tibet by reviewing Chinese government documents. His research is a primary source of information on work programs in the two regions and has drawn the wrath of Chinese state media.
The Chinese Embassy’s Twitter account then reposted the story with a different caption: “Study shows population change in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region implies overall improvement. the quality of the population. A growing number of young people have chosen to devote more time and energy to personal development. ”
Other Chinese state media reports said that women “spontaneously” took free IUDs and tubal ligation (a form of permanent surgical contraception), and that the changes in the birth rate were due to government restrictions. three children per family, poverty reduction and improved education, and changes in cultural practices of marriage and religious opposition to contraception.
In recent years, China has stepped up its crackdown on ethnic Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region, including the mass internment of around one million people, intense human and digital surveillance, re-education programs, the suppression of religious activities and destruction of religious sites, forced labor and forced sterilization of women. Experts said these policies amounted to cultural genocide. China rejects the charges and says the camps are vocational training centers needed to fight religious extremism and terrorism.
A thorough investigation by the Associated Press found that authorities subjected hundreds of thousands of Uyghur women to pregnancy checks and forced intrauterine devices, sterilization and abortion. The PA found that birth rates collapsed by more than 60% between 2015 and 2018 in the predominantly Uyghur regions of Hotan and Kashgar, compared to a drop of 4.2% nationwide. The AP said its findings were based on government statistics, state documents and interviews with 30 ex-detainees, family members and a former instructor from the detention camp.
Statistics on the declining birth rate and population growth of Xinjiang’s Uyghurs have been known for months, but Chinese authorities have yet to attribute them to its “extremism eradication” programs.
In response to a CNN article on similar findings, the Chinese government said the decline in the birth rate was due to “the full implementation of the family planning policy.” He did not dispute the figures in the report.
In September, a Uyghur woman, Sidik, told the Guardian that she was forced to have an IUD at the age of 47 and be sterilized three years later. She said a text message – seen by the Guardian – came from the authorities and told her, “Don’t gamble with your life, don’t even try. “