But CNN reports found that some Uighur women were forced to use birth control and sterilized as part of a deliberate attempt to lower minority birth rates in Xinjiang.
In its response, the Xinjiang government vehemently denied the allegations of genocide, arguing instead that the Uyghur population has been “growing” over the past decade and that Zenz’s relationship was not “in line with the real situation in Xinjiang. “.
According to the government, Xinjiang’s population increased by more than 3 million people, or nearly 14 percent, between 2010 and 2018, with the Uyghur population growing faster than the region’s average rate.
“The rights and interests of Uighurs and other ethnic minorities have been fully protected,” the response states. “The so-called ‘genocide’ is pure nonsense”.
The birth rate plummets
But the government has not contested the rise in sterilizations or the gap in the ratio of new intrauterine devices (IUDs) between Xinjiang and the rest of mainland China. While IUD implants have plummeted in China overall, dropping to just 21 per 100,000 people in 2018, in Xinjiang they are becoming increasingly common.
The government of Xinjiang said in its response that the birth rate in the region dropped from 15.88 per 1,000 people in 2017 to 10.69 per 1,000 people in 2018. The fax said the decline was due to “the full implementation of the family planning policy. “
The Xinjiang government attributed the sudden population decline to Beijing’s family planning policies that were finally properly implemented in the region after 2017.
“In 2018, the number of newborns decreased by about 120,000 compared to 2017, of which about 80,000 due to better implementation of family planning policy in accordance with the law, according to estimates from the Department of Health and Statistics,” he said. said the response to CNN. The government insisted that those who complied with family planning policies did so voluntarily.
The government attributed the remaining 40,000 fewer children to increased education and economic development, resulting in fewer children in the region. The Xinjiang government did not include the 2019 birth data for the region.
“As part of China, Xinjiang has family planning policies in accordance with national laws and regulations, and has never formulated and implemented family planning policies for a single ethnic minority,” the response states.
But Zenz pointed out that changes to the natural birth rate should occur over several years or even a decade, not over 12-36 months.
Referring to the government’s claims that adherence to family planning policies was voluntary, Zenz questioned the likelihood that “17 times more women would spontaneously want to be sterilized.”
“The Han Chinese academics of Xinjiang themselves have written that Uighurs resist any kind of contraceptive (and in particular sterilization),” he said in a statement on CNN.
In their fax, the Xinjiang government also personally attacked Zenz, saying he was “deliberately fabricating lies” and accused him of being a religious fanatic who believed he was “led by God” to oppose China.
Zenz denied the Chinese government’s allegations, saying they were “resorting to personal attacks” because they couldn’t deny his research. “Far more glaring than these personal attacks against me are Beijing’s defamations of Uyghur witnesses,” he said in a statement.
Attacks on women
The Xinjiang government also focused on the claims made by two Uighur women quoted in the CNN article: Zumrat Dawut and Gulbakhar Jalilova.
Dawut said she was forced into sterilization by the local government in Xinjiang when she went to a government office to pay a fine for having one of too many children. Dawut also said she had been in a Xinjiang detention center for about three months since March 2018.
In their response, the government claimed that Dawut had never been inside a voluntary “education and training center,” the Chinese government’s name for alleged detention centers, and that she had signed a form accepting procedure known as tubal ligation. .
Jalilova claimed she suffered humiliation and torture while inside the camps and said she was raped by one of the guards.
The Xinjiang government confirmed Jalilova’s claims that she had been detained for 15 months since May 2017, claiming she was arrested “on suspicion of aiding terrorist activities”. She was released on bail in August 2018, after which she returned to Kazakhstan.
In their statement, the government denied that Jalilova had been raped or tortured, saying that all of her “rights were fully guaranteed” and the staff in her cell could prove it.
When asked to respond to the Chinese government’s statement, Jalilova backed up his claims and asked the Xinjiang authorities to provide their evidence. “Why don’t they show a video? Why don’t they show a photo during my time in prison that shows that I was well fed and not beaten. The cameras worked 24 hours,” he said.
“I am a citizen of Kazakhstan, what right did they have to keep me for a year and a half?”