Beijing criticized the removal of a tweet by its Chinese embassy in the U.S. that reported positive developments for women's rights in China's northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Our reporter Cui Hui'ao has more.
"The tweet was published on January 8th, claiming women in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region were 'more confident and independent' as they were no longer forced to have babies, which it says used to be the case under the influence of religious extremism. It added China's Xinjiang policy has emancipated their minds and improved gender equality. On January 9th, the tweet was deleted by Twitter on the grounds of 'dehumanizing' and 'violating' Twitter's rules. Today, China's Foreign Ministry responded to this incident. Let's take a listen," said Cui Hui'ao in Beijing
"China's position and policy on Xinjiang-related matters has always been clear. We urge the individuals on the US side to stop making irresponsible remarks about Xinjiang and to stop interfering in China's internal affairs," said Zhao Lijian, spokesman for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"Last year, German scholar Adrian Zenz published a report claiming China has been using forced sterilization against Uygurs and other minorities in Xinjiang. That report became the basis of the Western media's attack on China's Xinjiang policy. But according to data from the Xinjiang Academy of Social Sciences, the Uygur population has actually increased in recent years. For instance, from 2010 to 2018, the Uygur population in Xinjiang increased by more than 20 percent. In contrast, the region's Han population grew by only 2 percent. That, China says, proves such accusations are unfounded," Cui said.
In addition, China has been eradicating religious extremism in Xinjiang, helping local women to free their minds and pay more attention to their reproductive health. So from China's standpoint, this tweet that depicts the real picture of Xinjiang, and now being called "dehumanizing," is not acceptable, Cui added.