China: Uighur population decline not due to ‘forced sterilization,’ but ‘reproductive health’
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 8, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The Chinese Embassy in the United States claimed on Thursday that according to studies “the minds of Uygur women in Xinjiang were emancipated and gender equality and reproductive health were promoted, making them no longer baby-making machines.” According to independent observers, however, the decline in birth rates among Uighur women is due to “draconian measures” such as abortion and sterilization.
The Chinese Embassy tweeted that Uighur women “are more confident and independent” thanks to the Chinese government, and linked to an article by a Communist newspaper in an effort to deny responsibility for dropping birth rates in the Uighur population.
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 no longer baby-making machines. They are more confident and independent. https://t.co/lykDhByEiL— Chinese Embassy in US (@ChineseEmbinUS) January 7, 2021
The article credited the findings to “An Analysis Report on Population Change in Xinjiang” by Li Xiaoxia of the Xinjiang Development Research Center. According to the report, plunging birth rates among Uighur women are not the result of forced abortion or sterilization imposed on women by the Communist regime. Instead, the report attributed the decline in birth rates to a sense of confidence, autonomy, and the “emancipation” of Uighur women’s minds from Islamic “extremism.”
“The changes were not caused by ‘forced sterilization’ of the Uygur population, as repeatedly claimed by some Western scholars and politicians,” the report stated.
“In recent years, young people in Xinjiang have discarded backward and outdated thoughts on partner selection and procreation, and an increasing number of youths belonging to ethnic minorities chose to spend more time and energy on personal development,” MSN summarized the report.
This latest report might be an effort at doing damage control after countless reports of human rights violations committed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) against Uighur minorities have been published. The Uighurs, a persecuted population of Turkic minorities in China, have been labeled as the enemy of the state by the CCP. Beijing has cracked down on the Uighurs and arrests have increased in East Turkistan in the last few years.
Somewhere between 1 to 3 million Uighurs have been arrested and detained in Chinese concentration camps since 2017. In those camps, Uighur adults are indoctrinated, starved, humiliated, tortured, raped, and forced to have abortions. Any trace of religion and cultural identity is squashed, and Uighurs are routinely executed. Uighur children are regularly taken to boarding schools that are referred to as “kindergartens.”
However, China Daily, the daily publication owned by the CCP’s Publicity Department continues to deny any wrongdoing and even claims there is population growth among Uighurs: “The truth is Xinjiang’s Uygur population has been increasing. The rights of all residents in the region, including those of Uygurs, have been protected during the law-based implementation of the family planning policy.”
A September article in the same publication accused German scholar Adrian Zenz of being anti-China and of lying in an earlier Xinjiang Development Research Center report for exposing forced sterilization, IUDs and other forms of coercion against Uighur women by the CCP to suppress their population.
An AP article stated earlier this summer, “The population control measures are backed by mass detention both as a threat and as a punishment for failure to comply.”
“Having too many children is a major reason people are sent to detention camps, with the parents of three or more ripped away from their families unless they can pay huge fines,” the article added. “Police raid homes, terrifying parents as they search for hidden children.”
The latest available government statistics detail a sharp population decline of more than 60 percent from 2015 to 2018 in the Uighur regions of Hotan and Kashgar.