China forces birth control on Uighur women

Updated: Jun 30, 2020, 19:52 IST | Agencies | Beijing

The campaign over the past four years in the far west region of Xinjiang is leading to what some experts are calling a form of "demographic genocide."

A man, with his family, drives a vehicle in an ethnic Uighur neighbourhood in Aksu, Xinjiang. File pic/AFP
A man, with his family, drives a vehicle in an ethnic Uighur neighbourhood in Aksu, Xinjiang. File pic/AFP

The Chinese government is taking draconian measures to slash birth rates among Uighurs and other minorities as part of a sweeping campaign to curb its Muslim population, even as it encourages some of the country's Han majority to have more children.

While individual women have spoken out before about forced birth control, the practice is far more widespread and systematic than previously known, according to an AP investigation based on government statistics, state documents and interviews with 30 ex-detainees, their kin and a former detention camp instructor.

The campaign over the past four years in the far west region of Xinjiang is leading to what some experts are calling a form of "demographic genocide." The state regularly subjects minority women to pregnancy checks, and forces intrauterine devices, sterilisation and even abortion on hundreds of thousands; all backed by mass detention both as a threat and as a punishment. The parents of three or more kids are ripped away from their families unless they can pay huge fines.

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