The Chinese government is now accused of "demographic genocide" by forcing birth control and sterilizations on minority populations, especially the Uighur Muslims of its Xinjiang region.
- Why it matters: China's policies in Xinjiang have been considered cultural genocide. A policy of forced sterilization and abortion imposed on minority populations would bring their policies closer to the textbook definition of actual genocide, writes Axios China reporter Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian.
The big picture: China regularly conducts pregnancy checks, forces intrauterine devices, sterilization and even abortion on some of the Xinjiang region's minority women, the AP reports in a non-bylined global investigation.
Key allegations, rounded up by Axios' Fadel Allassan:
- Officials reportedly use the threat of detention to force minorities to comply with the population control measures, while some of the country's Han majority are urged to have more children.
- Police officers raid homes for hidden children, and parents who are found to have three or more children are taken to detention camps unless they can pay large fines, according to AP.
- Inside the detention camps, IUDs are forced on some women, along with what appear to be pregnancy prevention shots, former detainees told AP.
The bottom line: China denies the AP report as "fake news," but read the numbers yourself:
- About 60% more IUDs were inserted in Xinjiang in 2018 vs. 2014, according to new research by China scholar Adrian Zenz.
- In the rest of China, the use of IUDs dropped significantly.
- Birth rates fell by 24% last year alone in Xinjiang, compared to 4.2% nationwide.