A Chinese official on Monday denied that Beijing had imposed coercive birth control measures on Muslim minority women.
The remarks followed an outcry over a tweet from the Chinese Embassy in Washington, claiming that government policies have exempted Uyghur women from being "baby-making machines".
Xu Guixiang, a deputy spokesman for the Xinjiang regional government, told reporters Monday that birth control decisions are made of free will and that "no organization or individual can intervene."
A Chinese government official has alleged that birth control decisions in Xinjiang were made of the person's free will. His remarks came after the Chinese Embassy in Washington tweeted that Uighur women were "emancipated" and no longer "baby-making machines".
"The rate of growth of the Uighur population is not only higher than that of the entire Xinjiang population, but also higher than that of the minority population and significantly higher than that of the Han (Chinese majority) population," said Xu.
"The so-called forced labor of ethnic minority women in Xinjiang, wearing IUDs, or undergoing tube ligations or abortions is even more vicious."
An Associated Press investigation in June found that the Chinese government was imposing draconian birth control measures on Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, including IUD fittings, contraceptives and even abortions and sterilizations.
Muslim women who have fled China's “re-education” camps have uncovered a world of rape, abortion, and forced sterilization while seeking refuge abroad. Gulzira Mogdyn (pictured in January 2018) said officials cut her open and ripped her fetus out without anesthetics
The measures are supported by the threat of imprisonment. Parents with three or more children are swept into camps and prisons if they cannot pay massive fines.
As a result, the birth rate in Xinjiang's minority regions fell by over 60 percent in just three years, despite Beijing easing birth restrictions on the Han population ahead of an impending demographic crisis.
Twitter scrapped the Chinese Embassy tweet, posted on Jan. 7, following protests from groups accusing Beijing of eradicating Uighur culture.
Users complained that the tweet was in violation of the rules set by Twitter, which are blocked in China along with Facebook and other American social media platforms.
Members of the Muslim Uighur minority hold placards as they demonstrate in front of the Chinese consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on December 30, 2020 to ask for news from their relatives
China is alleged to have taken more than 1 million Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other Muslim minorities to prison-like centers for political indoctrination – allegations Beijing has denied. The file picture reportedly shows inmates in a re-education camp in Xinjiang, far west of China
"China's fascist government is now openly admitting and celebrating the use of concentration camps, forced labor, forced sterilization and abortion, and other forms of torture to eradicate an ethnic and religious minority," said Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said in a statement sent by email.
China has been campaigning against so-called terrorism and religious fanaticism in Xinjiang for years.
Referring to these guidelines, the embassy tweet said, "A study shows that eliminating extremism has emancipated Uyghur women in Xinjiang and promoted gender equality and reproductive health so that they no longer have machines to manufacture of babies. "
Social media material is said to show how Uyghur Muslim prisoners are being transferred in China
With shaved heads, covered eyes and tied hands, the inmates wear purple vests with the words “Kashgar Detention Center” on the back of the clip
The tweet quoted a study by Li Xiaoxia, a researcher with the Xinjiang Academy of Social Sciences, who claimed that birth control measures are voluntary in Xinjiang.
Li's work over the past few years laid the theoretical foundations for justifying birth control measures en masse.
In a 2017 article, Li said having many children was a sign of "religious extremism and ethnic separatism." Li feared that predominantly minority districts were breeding grounds for terrorism, and called this "a major political risk".
Monday's press conference was Beijing's latest attempt to deflect mounting international criticism of its policies in Xinjiang, particularly alleged forced labor and the incarceration of more than 1 million Uyghurs, Kazakhs and others in prison-like centers for political indoctrination.
Xu Guixiang, a deputy spokesman for the Xinjiang Regional Government, looks up near a slide showing a photo of Uyghur infants during a press conference to refute allegations of genocide in Beijing. Xu denied that China had imposed coercive birth control measures
China says the centers are designed to combat extremism and provide professional skills, but former residents and rights groups say they are against Islam and the languages and cultures of minorities.
Elijan Anayat, another regional government spokesman, said all staff at the centers had graduated from October 2019, contradicting reports that China is continuing to expand the system.
"With government help, they have achieved stable employment, improved quality of life and lived normal lives," Anayat said. "There is currently no education and training center in Xinjiang."
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) messages