A new report from the Australian Strategy Policy Institute (ASPI) obtained by the Associated Press revealed that the birthrate in the Xinjiang region of China has fallen nearly 50% between 2017 and 2019. It is said to be the steepest decline in 71 years, or since the United Nations began keeping track of global fertility statistics.
The birth rate statistics were measured using Chinese government statistics over the past decade. The report found that the 48.74% decline was concentrated in areas where Uighurs and other ethnic minorities predominantly lived. Meanwhile, regions where the dominant residents are Han Chinese had a rise in births.
“As far as it’s possible to find out, it is by far the largest drop there is,” Nathan Ruser, a researcher for ASPI and co-author of the report, told the Associated Press. “It makes you realize the scale of these family planning policies and the scale of this crackdown, the scale of societal control that authorities are looking for.”
The report backs up a previous bombshell from whistleblowers in Xinjiang, who said Chinese authorities are committing infanticide against Uighur newborns. This is in addition to forced abortions and sterilization of Uighur women.
Eysa Imin, a Uighur from Xinjiang, told the Associated Press that his neighbors were commonly arrested and put in concentration camps for having “too many” children. “When they arrested him, they said it was a sign of extremism,” he said. “The government started connecting having many children with Islamic extremism. … It feels like they want to eliminate us.”
The Associated Press noted that China previously gave ethnic minorities preferential treatment, allowing them to have two or more children, while Han Chinese were allowed just one under China’s population control policies. They also were given extra points on college entrance exams, and hiring quotas were put into place. That all changed under President Xi Jinping’s regime. The genocide against Uighur Muslims was put in place under Xi, and has included forced labor and detainment, torture, forced sterilization and abortions, infanticide, sexual violence, and organ harvesting — while the victims were still alive, and without using anesthesia.
Despite the outcry from human rights organizations, little action has been taken by the international community to stop the genocide that has been taking place since at least 2014. Just this March, sanctions were put in place against China. There have been no other consequences so far.
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