New Delhi: Faced with an angry outburst not just from the Uyghur community but also prominent politicians, human rights activists and the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), Twitter has finally removed a tweet from a Chinese government account justifying its genocidal policy in the Uyghur dominated Xinjiang region, the westernmost part of the country.
In a tweet Thursday, the Chinese Embassy in the United States had shared a China Daily report on the population change in Xinjiang published by the Xinjiang Development Research Center defending China’s oppression of Uyghur Muslims. The report said that the Muslim women in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) are “no longer baby-making machines” and that the decrease in population growth throughout the province has led to a drop in terrorism.
“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,” the tweet from the Chinese embassy said.
The tweet backing the Chinese government’s policies against the Muslim community in spite of several reports revealing shocking data on involuntary abortions and sterilizations performed over the years in the region, invited instant scathing criticism from all corners of the globe.
“It is utterly appalling & shameful for the @ChineseEmbinUS & Communist #China to justify its genocidal policy in the #Uyghur region. I call on the international community to join USCIRF in condemning #CCP in the strongest terms,” said USCIRF Commissioner Nury Turkel.
Twitter first said that the Chinese embassy’s “Baby-making machines” tweet is not against its rules, which ban “the dehumanization of a group of people based on their religion, race, or ethnicity” but reversed its decision earlier Saturday by removing it saying it “violated the Twitter Rules.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, also condemned the Chinese Embassy and had called on the social media corporation to remove the “horrific” tweet.
“China’s fascist government is now openly admitting and celebrating its use of concentration camps, forced labor, forced sterilizations and abortions, and other forms of torture to eliminate an ethnic and religious minority. Leaders, nations and corporations around the world must take concrete action to end China’s genocide of Uyghur Muslims, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said in a statement urging Twitter to ensure that foreign governments cannot use their platforms to justify or celebrate crimes against humanity.
“Why does twitter allow their platform to be used for this kind of propaganda? They are bragging about the Genocide of Muslims. And why hasn’t Justin Trudeau’s government imposed #Magnitsky sanctions against communist China for these actions? What more do they need?” tweeted Leo Housakos, a Senator from Canada’s Quebec.
Much has already been written about the Chinese government policies aiming at reducing birth rates among Uyghurs including involuntary abortions and sterilizations. It has been revealed that in 2018, 80 per cent of all the Intrauterine Device (IUD) placements in China were performed on women in the Uyghur Region, despite the region making up only about 1.8 percent of China’s total population.
A report by German researcher Adrian Zenz, one of the world’s leading scholars on Chinese government’s policies towards the Tibet and Xinjiang regions, was published by the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation think tank last year detailing measures to forcibly suppress birthrates among ethnic Uyghur communities, to include the mass application of mandatory birth control and sterilizations.
This policy directed by the authorities of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the report revealed, is intended to reduce the Uyghur population in Xinjiang relative to the numbers of ethnic Han Chinese — and thereby to promote more rapid Uyghur assimilation into the “Chinese Nation-Race,” a priority goal of national-level ethnic policy under CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping.
“Between 2015 and 2018, about 860,000 ethnic Han residents left Xinjiang, while up to 2 million new residents were added to Xinjiang’s Han majority regions. Also, population growth rates in a Uyghur region where Han constitute the majority were nearly 8 times higher than in the surrounding rural Uyghur regions (in 2018). These figures raise concerns that Beijing is doubling down on a policy of Han settler colonialism,” cited the report.
The findings, mentioned the report, provide the strongest evidence yet that Beijing’s policies in Xinjiang meet one of the genocide criteria cited in the U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, namely that of Section D of Article II: “imposing measures intended to prevent births within the [targeted] group.”
The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had labeled the report as “shocking” and “disturbing.”
“The revelations are sadly consistent with decades of CCP practices that demonstrate an utter disregard for the sanctity of human life and basic human dignity. We call on the Chinese Communist Party to immediately end these horrific practices and ask all nations to join the United States in demanding an end to these dehumanizing abuses,” Pompeo had said in a statement.
(This content is being carried under an arrangement with indianarrative.com)