China denies imposing coercive birth control measures for Uighur women

Clay Curtis
January 12, 2021

The practice is "widespread and systematic", according to an AP investigation.

Raab outlined plans to bar British companies which inadvertently or deliberately profit from, or contribute to, human rights violations against the Uighurs in Xinjiang province, northwest China. "The population control measures are backed by mass detention both as a threat and as a punishment for failure to comply".

China, however, has denied these allegations and has said Beijing has freed the Uighur women from becoming "baby-making machines" and the birth control measures being taken by these women are completely voluntary and out of free will.

The British government is concerned that the textile industry is not checking carefully enough whether goods from Xinjiang, which supplies almost a quarter of the world's cotton, are made using forced labour. It was also claimed that people with more than two children were being put into detention centres, prisons and concentration camps if they were unable to pay the heavy fines being forced on them.

An Associated Press report in June had said that the Chinese government was forcing draconian birth control measures on Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, including IUD fittings, contraceptives, and even abortions and sterilisations.

Twitter took down the Chinese Embassy's tweet, which was posted on January 7, following protests by groups that accuse Beijing of seeking to eradicate Uighur culture.

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"Studies show that in the process of eradicating extremism, the minds of Uyghur women in Xinjiang were emancipated and gender equality and reproductive health were promoted, making them no longer baby-making machines".

Last fall, MPs on a parliamentary committee dominated by the governing Liberal Party said China had committed "genocide" against its Muslim Uyghur minority and called for Magnitsky-style sanctions against Chinese officials.

Twitter removed the tweet over the weekend, replacing it with a message which said the post "violated Twitter rules", without providing any further details. In one 2017 paper, Li said having many children was a sign of "religious extremism and ethnic separatism". Li anxious that predominantly minority districts were breeding grounds for terrorism, calling it "a big political risk".

Monday's news conference was the latest attempt by Beijing to deflect rising worldwide criticism over its policies in Xinjiang, particularly over alleged forced labour and the detention of more than 1million Uighurs, Kazakhs and others in prison-like centres for political indoctrination. "That had led to rapid population growth in those areas as some extremists incited locals to resist family planning policy, resulting in the prevalence of early marriage and bigamy, and frequent unplanned births", China Daily quoted the report as saying.

London has also expressed concerns that the textile industry is not checking carefully enough whether goods from Xinjiang, which supplies almost a quarter of the world's cotton, are made using forced labour.

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