China defends measures against Uighurs as promoting ‘gender equality and reproductive health’

A post by China’s US embassy that described measures against Uigher women in progressive political terms has been removed by Twitter.

The post linked to an article by state mouthpiece China Daily denying allegations of forced sterilisation in Xinjiang. It said: “Study shows that in the process of eradicating extremism, the minds of Uygur women in Xinjiang were emancipated and gender equality and reproductive health were promoted, making them no longer baby-making machines. They are more confident and independent.”

Twitter said the post had “violated the Twitter rules” but did not provide further details.

In recent years, China has escalated its crackdown on ethnic Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region, including the mass internment of an estimated one million people, intense human and digital surveillance, re-education programs, suppression of religious activity and destruction of religious sites, forced labour, and enforced sterilisation of women. Experts have said the policies amount to cultural genocide. China rejects the accusations, and says the camps are vocational training centres necessary to combat religious extremism and terrorism.