US envoy expresses disgust at China’s ‘lies’ on Uyghur population control


The US envoy on international religious freedom expressed his disgust after China’s embassy boasted on social media on the decline of the birth rate of Uyghur women and that they were no longer “baby-making machines”.

Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback tweeted that he is “appalled and disgusted at lies” of the Chinese embassy.

“Coercive population control is not reproductive health care. (Uyghur) women deserve to enjoy their religious freedom and unalienable rights with dignity to make their own choices,” Brownback said.

China’s embassy on Thursday touted a study which said that “eradication of religious extremism” resulted in birth rate declined in 2018 among Uyghur women as they increasingly accepted contraceptive measures.

“The minds of (Uyghur) women in Xinjiang were emancipated and gender equality and reproductive health were promoted, making them no longer baby-making machines,” the embassy tweeted from the study.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, an advocacy group, urged Twitter to remove the tweet by the embassy, which it said used the platform “to celebrate crimes against humanity.”

Rights groups say more than one million Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim people in China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang have been incarcerated in camps in a bid to root out Islamic customs and forcibly integrate minorities.

China insists it is offering vocational training to reduce the allure of extremism in the wake of deadly attacks.

A study by German researcher Adrian Zenz last year found that China had forcibly sterilized large numbers of Uyghur women and pressured them to abort pregnancies that exceeded birth quotas, an assertion denied by Beijing.

US lawmakers have pointed to population control as they push for a declaration that China’s policies meet the definition of genocide. (Source: CNA)