TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Chinese Embassy in the U.S. on Thursday (Jan. 7) proclaimed the detention of Uyghur women in internment camps has put an end to their role as "baby-making machines" due to a forced family planning policy.
On Thursday, the Chinese Embassy in the U.S. on its Twitter page cited a study by the Xinjiang Development Research Center alleging the eradication of religious extremism in Xinjiang has "emancipated" the minds of Uyghur women and promoted "gender equality and reproductive health." The embassy bragged that the Chinese government's indoctrination campaigns have put an end to Uyghur women's role as "baby-making machines" and made them "more confident and independent."
The tweet then included a link to an article published by Chinese state-run mouthpiece the China Daily, which claimed the dramatic drop in the birthrate among the Uyghur population in Xinjiang was a result of the eradication of religious extremism. The article cited a report by the state-operated Xinjiang Development Research Center as alleging that extremism had "incited people to resist family planning" and that the elimination of extremism had "given Uyghur women more autonomy" in choosing whether to have offspring.
The article denied that the drastic and sudden drop in population growth was due to forced sterilization and denied German scholar Adrian Zenz's claims that forced sterilizations are taking place in the region. Instead, the piece purported that the lower birth rate was due to the "emancipation" of Uyghur women's minds thanks to the process of eradicating extremism.
In June of last year, Zenz released a report based on official Chinese statistical data, policy documents, and interviews with minority women in Xinjiang. He found that between 2015 and 2018, the natural population growth rate in Xinjiang dropped by 84 percent.
Zenz told AP that this precipitous drop in population growth "is unprecedented, there's a ruthlessness to it." He then alleged that it is "part of a wider control campaign to subjugate the Uyghurs."
In his report, Zenz cites accounts from Uyghur women in Xinjiang who were offered free surgical sterilization and threatened with internment if they did not perform the procedure. As part of their incarceration in internment camps, other women describe receiving unknown drugs that resulted in sterilization, while others were forcibly fitted with intrauterine contraceptive devices if they had exceeded birth quotas.
Zenz noted that while Han Chinese were allowed to have two children in 2016, sterilizations in Xinjiang surged in 2017 and 2018. A chart from China's Health and Hygiene Statistical Yearbook shows a massive increase in sterilizations in Xinjiang from 2016 to 2018, while the national average declined significantly overall.
National average sterilizations compared to Xinjiang. (Sterilizations, IUDs, and Mandatory Birth Control screenshot)
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