The Chinese government is forcing abortions and sterilization on Uighur Muslim women across the country, according to the Associated Press.
Sources told the AP that the Chinese government has been waging “demographic genocide” for the past four years in Xinjiang, an area where as many as 1 million Uighurs are said to be kept in reeducation camps.
“The state regularly subjects minority women to pregnancy checks, and forces intrauterine devices, sterilization and even abortion on hundreds of thousands,” the AP reported. “The population control measures are backed by mass detention both as a threat and as a punishment for failure to comply. Having too many children is a major reason people are sent to detention camps.”
Uighur birth rates plummet:
As a result of the campaign, birthrates among Uighurs in the Hotan and Kashgar regions of China fell by more than 60% from 2015 to 2018.
In Xianjang, the birthrate fell 24% last year alone compared to 4.2% nationwide.
“This kind of drop is unprecedented....there’s a ruthlessness to it,” Chinese expert Adrian Zenz told the AP. “This is part of a wider control campaign to subjugate the Uighurs.”
Chinese officials called the story “fabricated.”
“Everyone, regardless of whether they’re an ethnic minority or Han Chinese, must follow and act in accordance with the law,” a government spokesman said.
“The intention may not be to fully eliminate the Uighur population, but it will sharply diminish their vitality,” Darren Byler, an expert on Uighurs at the University of Colorado, told the AP. “It will make them easier to assimilate into the mainstream Chinese population.”
“It’s genocide, full stop. It’s not immediate, shocking, mass-killing on the spot type genocide, but it’s slow, painful, creeping genocide,” said Joanne Smith Finley of the Newcastle University in the U.K. “These are direct means of genetically reducing the Uighur population.”