The Chinese government has reportedly forced a minority population to abort unborn babies and more in an effort to demographically replace them.
The report from the Associated Press shows that a significant portion of the Uyghurs population in the western region of China has been under detainment. While in the Communist Party’s control, they were forced to take birth control, given intrauterine devices, and even had their unborn babies aborted in order to limit their population. The practice has been called a form of “demographic genocide,” according to the AP.
Many Uyghurs, mostly Muslim, have been imprisoned for having too many children. Parents of three or more have been stripped away from their children during police raids unless they can pay huge fines. The raids have been conducted to find hidden children.
China’s one-child policy was in place between around the late 70s until 2016. Since then, the central government has taken to these new measures in order to control the population and its demographics.
After China’s President Xi Jinping visited Xinjiang in 2014, he said it was time to implement “equal family planning policies” for all ethnicities and “reduce and stabilize birth rates.”
Han Chinese were limited to one child in the city during the one-child policy, but minorities were allowed to have two, three if they lived in the countryside. While the Xinjiang region where the Uyghurs live was once the fastest-growing region in the country, it is now among the slowest.
“This kind of drop is unprecedented….there’s a ruthlessness to it,” said Adrian Zenz, a leading expert in the policing of China’s minority regions. “This is part of a wider control campaign to subjugate the Uyghurs.”
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounced the policies in a statement on Monday and called on China to “immediately end these horrific practices.”
In response, China’s foreign minister said the government treats all ethnicities equally and protects their legal rights, deriding the story as “fabricated” and “fake news.”
“Everyone, regardless of whether they’re an ethnic minority or Han Chinese, must follow and act in accordance with the law,” Zhao Lijian, a ministry spokesman, said Monday.
It has been a common tactic to obfuscate and even lie about what its doing to the minority populations. As American Military News previously reported, China’s deputy ambassador to Australia, Wang Xining, once tried to explain away the detainment camps by saying the people in the camps were their voluntarily. He also described the centers as “training camps.” Wang’s comments in February while he was appearing on ABC’s Q&A panel caused uproar and laughter.
Experts appear to be in disagreement as to whether the central government’s tactics are fully genocide.
“The intention may not be to fully eliminate the Uyghur population, but it will sharply diminish their vitality,” said the University of Colorado’s Darren Byler, an expert on Uyghurs. “It will make them easier to assimilate into the mainstream Chinese population.”
Newcastle University’s Joanne Smith Finley went further.
“It’s genocide, full stop. It’s not immediate, shocking, mass-killing on the spot type genocide, but it’s slow, painful, creeping genocide,” Finley said. “These are direct means of genetically reducing the Uighur population.”