The Chinese Embassy in the US has distributed a tweet stating that Uyghur women have gained more autonomy and are no longer “baby machines”.
Testimonials of forced abortions and sterilization of Uigurse women have always been dismissed by China as nonsense, but now Beijing is responding to these reports for the first time.
“ It shows that the criticism and persistent pressure on China are affecting the country, otherwise they would not react in this way,” says sinologist Stijn Deklerck of Amnesty Nederland.
Previously, even with the reeducation camps where possible more than a million Uyghurs, a Chinese Muslim minority, have been imprisoned. At first, China said that was nonsense. Later they appeared to exist, but according to China it was‘ schools’ where the Uyghurs follow a ‘work training’.
In the tweet there is a link to the official newspaper China Daily, which always reflects the position of the regime. He writes that “safe, effective and appropriate contraceptive measures are now available for couples of childbearing age in Xinjiang” and that their “personal decision on whether or not to use those funds is fully respected”.
The comments below the tweet respond with outrage. The Chinese government pretends that women voluntarily participate in birth control, making them “more confident and independent” and no longer “baby machines”, is the tenor. While testimonies from the Uyghurs fled show that they are forced to do so.
Also, Xinjiang women are sterilized without their knowledge. DeccEit spoke to the fled Shehide last year. When she decided to have a third child in the Netherlands, she was told by her doctor that she was sterilized. “It was only then that I found out that after my cesarean section in the hospital in Ürümqi, they must have made me infertile.”
When the Chinese single-child policy was still in force, there were advantageous measures for ethnic minorities, Deklerck agrees. “They were allowed to have more children than Han Chinese. However, the general policy of benefit for ethnic minorities is being drastically adjusted.”
According to Deklerck, it seems increasingly clear that the government wants to ensure that “those minorities put aside their individuality and become a kind of model citizen who obeys the Communist Party, has no criticism and speaks Mandarin. So the idea is that there is some sort of assimilation into a model citizen.”
According to him, the Uyghurs are dealt with extra hard. “They are a predominantly Muslim people. Since the attacks of 11 September 2001, the Chinese government has continued to classify critical Uyghurs as terrorists on a large scale, consistently claiming that the successive repression campaigns have only the objective of expressing so-called extremism among the Uighurs. banning.”
Correspondent Sjoerd den Daas went to the remote Xinjiang province in western China in October to capture the life of the Uyghurs. This is how China tries to keep its penal camps secret