Human rights violations continue; mass sterilization brings down Uyghur growth rate
Notwithstanding international criticism for massive human rights violation, Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that his policies in East Turkistan are ‘completely correct’. About 20 lakh Uyghurs and other minorities are undergoing torture, humiliation and political indoctrination under the guise of de-radicalisation.
Addressing a conference on Xinjiang, Xi said China's Xinjiang strategy was correct "and must be adhered to in the long term”. "The whole party must treat the implementation of the Xinjiang strategy as a political task, and work hard to implement it completely and accurately to ensure that the Xinjiang work always maintains in the correct political direction," Xi is reported to have said.
Xi further said: "We must also continue the direction of Sinicizing Islam to achieve the healthy development of religion. It is necessary to tell the story of Xinjiang in a multi-level, all-round, and three-dimensional manner, and confidently propagate the excellent social stability of Xinjiang."
According to Xi, his policies have brought about "unprecedented achievements" in economic growth, social development, and improvement in peoples' livelihoods in East Turkistan. “The sense of gain, happiness, and security among the people of all ethnic groups has continued to increase," he added.
Meanwhile, an Australian think-tank has published a report which revealed that Chinese authorities have demolished thousands of mosques in Xinjiang. It also said the Chinese government is indulging in widespread human rights abuses in the restive region.
Rights groups say more than one million Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking people have been incarcerated in camps across the northwestern territory, with residents pressured to give up traditional and religious activities.
About 16,000 mosques had been destroyed or damaged, according to an Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) report. The report is based on satellite imagery documenting hundreds of sacred sites and statistical modeling.
The ASPI report said: “Alongside other coercive efforts to re-engineer Uighur social and cultural life by transforming or eliminating Uighurs’ language, music, homes and even diets, the Chinese government’s policies are actively erasing and altering key elements of their tangible cultural heritage.”
Media reports suggest that most of the destruction had taken place in the last three years. According to the international media reports, the Muslims have saved some mosques from demolition by removing their domes and minarets.
About 16,000 mosques had been destroyed or damaged, according to an Australian Strategic Policy Institute report. The report is based on satellite imagery documenting hundreds of sacred sites and statistical modeling
Beijing has been facing consistent accusations of mass human rights abuses in Xinjiang. There are reports that the Communist regime has put more than a million Uighurs and Turkic Muslims in detention camps. China has been facing serious allegations such as accusations of abuse, forced labour, forced sterilisation of women, mass surveillance and restrictions on religious and cultural beliefs, which are collectively labeled as cultural genocide by observers.
Meanwhile, addressing UN General Assembly French President Emmanuel Macron has called for an official investigation into East Turkistan.
Human rights groups have alleged that the situation in the region can be likened to genocide. The Chinese authorities have been carrying out mass sterilisation of Uyghur women as part of state-driven efforts to push demographic change. Chinese authorities have confirmed that there had been a drop in birth rates in East Turkistan region since 2018.
According to a report in CNN, the Xinjiang government has claimed that the birth rate in the region had dropped from 15.88 per 1,000 people in 2017 to 10.69 per 1,000 people in 2018. The local government added that the drop was due to "the comprehensive implementation of the family planning policy".