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China plans to control “terrorism” in Xinjiang by shrinking the number of Uyghur Muslims using “population optimisation strategy”

Chinese academics and politicians have argued that the Xinjiang region’s “terrorism” problem can only be solved by “optimizing” southern Xinjiang’s ethnic population structure.

The global pressure and backlash seem to have no effect on China as it continues to thrust restrictions on the Uyghur Muslim population in Xinjiang. Calling West delusional for going hammer and tongs at Beijing’s human rights violations, China has now imposed a new strategy to curb the population of Uyghur Muslims, as the govt considers the minority community a terrorism threat.

This was revealed in a report by German researcher Adrian Zenz, based on official Chinese documents and academic debates. In the paper titled “End the Dominance of the Uyghur Ethnic Group”: An Analysis of Beijing’s Population Optimization Strategy in Southern Xinjiang published in peer-reviewed journal Central Asian Survey, Dr. Adrian Zenz suggests that this campaign to destroy an ethnic minority population could be classified as genocide under the 1948 U.N. Genocide Convention.

According to the report, Chinese academics and politicians in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region have argued that the region’s “terrorism” problem can only be solved by “optimizing” southern Xinjiang’s ethnic population structure. High Uyghur population concentrations are deemed a national security threat by the administration.

As per official Chinese documents cited in the report, Beijing has imposed a “population optimisation strategy” to reduce the population of the Uyghur Muslims in the country’s southern Xinjiang. Under this strategy, China is settling the people of the Han Chinese community in Uyghur populated regions to dwindle the numbers. Additionally, China has imposed strict birth controls on the Uyghurs. 

China reportedly sees a tiny percent of Hans population in Southern Xinjiang as a potential security concern and hence trying to populate the area with ethnic population. Adrian Zenz on the new development said, “Increasing the Han population is seen as the number-one method to control southern Xinjiang and suppress the unrest that could be created by Uyghurs in resistance.”

“China’s policies are designed to achieve assimilation (by) trying to neutralize, assimilate, and dilute the Uyghur population,” revealed Zenz further. 

Beijing is also looking to promote interfaith marriage, interethnic marriage as a way to dilute the Uyghurs, informed a senior fellow in China Studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in Washington. 

“If you mix a lot of Han into an Uyghur community, that community changes. You can also justify a change in policy so that you no longer need to respect the minority language or religion because it’s no longer mono-ethnic, (but rather) multiethnic,” he added. 

China, however, is undeterred in its agenda to persecute the Uyghur Muslims despite facing increased global scrutiny. Currently, as many as 2,000 ethnic Uyghurs born or living in Afghanistan fear being deported to China. 

A fearful Uyghur jewellery merchant from Kabul and the father of five said, “I’m most fearful that the Taliban will eventually give us back to China, and China will just shoot us.”

Reportedly, the Chinese foreign minister in Tianjin met a Taliban delegation last month and asked the Jihad organization’s cooperation in combating the extremist East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) in Afghanistan. The ETIM is a U.N.-designated international terrorist organization linked to Uyghurs living outside China.


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OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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