While the repression of Uighurs Muslims in Xinjiang in China at the hands of the Communist Party is well known, Islamists in Kashmir were recently spotted cheering for the PLA during the ongoing Indo-China conflict. However, recent developments in Xinjiang demonstrate the stupidity of Muslim support for China.
A report by the Associated Press sheds light on the reasons and measures taken by the Chinese State to ensure a ‘demographic genocide.’ With several ‘draconian measures’ in place, China has ensured a significant decline in the birth rates of Uighurs (mostly comprising of Muslims).
The measures include regular pregnancy tests, sterilisation, abortion, forced insertion of IUDs (intrauterine devices), huge penalties, and incarceration in detention camps for having three or more children. Reportedly, the number of people held up in such camps range from hundreds and thousands of ethnic minorities to millions.
The coercive action has led to a drastic fall of 60% in birth rates amongst Uighurs between 2015 and 2018, in Hotan and Kashgar regions. Compared to a 4.2% dip in birth rates nationwide, Xinjiang witnessed a decline of 24% in live births in 2019. Islamists in Kashmir, who appear to be fans of China, don’t appear to have factored in the possibility that a similar fate could befall them if they ever found themselves in Chinese territory.
According to researcher Adrian Zenz, the billions of dollars invested by the Chinese government in tightening the noose around population control has transformed Xinjiang to one of the slowest growing regions in China. “This kind of drop is unprecedented….there’s a ruthlessness to it. This is part of a wider control campaign to subjugate the Uighurs”, the researcher concluded.
Majority Han Chinese Vs Minority Uighurs
Reportedly, under China’s ‘one-child policy’, the majority Han Chinese were at the receiving end of government’s draconian measures. Around the same time, the ethnic minorities such as the Uighurs enjoyed quotos in government jobs, enhanced grade points in college entrance exams, and eased birth control restrictions. Ethnic minorities were reportedly allowed to have two kids or even three if they belonged to rural areas.
With the rise of the incumbent Chinese Premier Xi Jinping to power, the government sought to implement ‘equal family planning policies’ for everyone, including the ethnic minorities in a bid to stabilise birth rates in the country. As such, the Han Chinese were allowed to have two kids and three, in case they belonged to the countryside. However, as per the report, discrimination was meted out to the ethnic minorities while the ethnic majority was spared. The Han Chinese were no longer forced to abort or undergo sterilisation or face detentions for having more than 3 kids while Uighur Muslims were punished for legally having three children in Xinjiang.
The Torture of Uighur Muslims
According to a 2017 report by the head of the Institute of Sociology at the Xinjiang Academy of Social Sciences, the increasing Muslim population in Xinjiang contributed to increased political risk, poverty and extremism. One of the reasons cited behind their high birth rates was the Islamic belief that the foetus was a gift from God.
However, experts are of the view that it is a strategy of the Communist Party of China (CCP) to strip Uighurs of their religious and ethnic identity and assimilate them into the dominant Han Chinese ethnicity. While Uighur Muslims are often subjected to re-educational programs, forced labour, and digital surveillance, their children are indoctrinated in orphanages.
Reportedly, Uighur Muslims have been the subject of a massive crackdown since 2017. They were held up in prisons for praying, travelling abroad, or even using social media under the pretext of containing ‘ religious extremism’. According to researcher Zenz, two county and townships have directed authorities to leave no ‘blind spots’, contain illegal births, and decrease fertility levels.
As such officials began hunting for pregnant women and directing ethnic minorities to attend flag-raising ceremonies where they were threatened with detention and dire consequences if they failed to register their children. Associated Press reported that the Chinese government issued notices to reward people who reported illegal childbirth. Following flag-raising ceremonies, women were escorted to special rooms fitted with ultrasound scanners to detect pregnancy or take gynecology tests.
“The intention may not be to fully eliminate the Uighur population, but it will sharply diminish their vitality, making them easier to assimilate,” informed Darren Byler, an expert from the University of Colorado. As for Joanne Smith Finley who works at Newcastle University, the draconian measures undertaken by the Chinese government amount to a ‘slow, painful and creeping genocide’.
Chinese government hellbent on ‘population control’
As per leaked data accessed by the Associated Press, 149 out of 484 people serving time in detention camps in Karakax county, Xinjiang, were kept there for having ‘too many children.’ In 2017, the Chinese government also tripled the fines levied on couples for violating the government-sanctioned rules of not having more than 3 kids. Even though fines are equally levied on the Han Chinese, only Uighurs are sent to detention camps.
In a bid to stimulate demographic change in Xinjiang, China is providing subsidies to the Han Chinese migrants to settle in the province. Besides, the government is pushing for inter-marriage between the Uighurs and the Han Chinese and rewarding them with housing and household amenities such as TV, refrigerator, and washing machine. “It links back to China’s long history of dabbling in eugenics….you don’t want people who are poorly educated, marginal minorities breeding quickly. What you want is your educated Han to increase their birth rate, ” informed James Leibold, a specialist in China at La Trobe, Melbourne.
Former detainees revealed that they were often force-fed pills, and injected with fluids. As such, several women either felt sick or stopped getting periods. When some of the detainees left China and underwent a medical inspection, to their horror, they found that they had been rendered sterile. Associated Press reported that the detainees were given pregnancy prevention injections or hormonal medication named Depo-Provera, a family planning measure. While the use of intrauterine devices decreased all over China, they rose by 60% to 3,30,000 in 2018 from 2,00,000 in 2014.
Radical Islamists in Kashmir bat for China
Following the violent clash between the Indian and Chinese forces at the Galwan Valley in Ladakh on June 15, many radical Muslims from Kashmir were seen cheering for China and looking towards China as a country that might help them in their nefarious designs. However, Omar Abdullah had sounded off a caution to the radicals saying that China is no ally of Muslims considering the plight of Uighur Muslims.
Interestingly, he disabled replies to his tweet which warned Kashmiri Muslims. Clearly, Abdullah was sure of the abuse he might face at the hands of the radical Kashmiris and had thus, disabled the responses to his tweet and temporarily deleted his account.
Pakistan, too, calls China its all-weather ally and its Prime Minister Imran Khan has gone out f his way to give China a free pass on its treatment of Uyghur Muslims. However, at the same time, he blamed ‘Hindu nationalism’ for allegedly oppressing Indian Muslims.