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Adrian Zenz's lies on Xinjiang's population debunked (1)

www.xju.edu.cn | Updated: 2020-09-14 11:26
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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo published a press statement titled "On China's Coercive Family Planning and Forced Sterilization Program in Xinjiang" on 29 June 2020. On the same day, the Associated Press released an investigation report titled "China forces birth control on Uygurs to suppress population" (See this report at https://apnews.com/e2674c069d46f6d5c9a3d3be40d612d4, accessed on September 1, 2020.). Both Pompeo' statement and the Associated Press's report claimed that aiming to curb the Muslim population in Xinjiang, Chinese government has taken a series of draconian measures to slash birth rates among Uygurs and other minorities.

One research report, written by Adrian Zenz and titled by "Sterilizations, IUDs, and mandatory birth control: The Chinese Communist Party's campaign to suppress Uygur birth rates in Xinjiang" (hereinafter, referred to as Zenz's report), was published by Jamestown Foundation in June 2020. Zenz's report is the main citing source of Pompeo's statement and the Associated Press's investigation report. Zenz's report claimed that its data was quoted from China's official documents and statistical yearbook, yet in fact, this report has a large number of problems, mainly including fabricating facts and falsifying data. The wording that Chinese government has adopted compulsory sterilization to Uygur women in Xinjiang, in the essence, is a baseless fake news which was concocted by US government and some western foundations and scholars with anti-communist background.

Adrian Zenz,the author of the report, is a Germany scholar hired by The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation — an extreme right-wing organization sponsored by the US government. Since its establishment in 1983, this foundation, disregarding the objective facts, has repeatedly conferred so-called "human rights awards" to some criminal terrorists, and slandered and denied China's salient contribution in fighting against COVID-19. In his report, Zenz listed his so-called significant research findings of Chinese government suppressing Uygur birth rates by mandatory measures, and declared that "[f]or the first time, the veracity and scale of these anecdotal accounts (These anecdotal accounts here refer to "mandatory birth control in Xinjiang".) can be confirmed through a systematic analysis of government documents" (Zenz's report, p2.). In the following sections, using objective facts and statistical data, we will refute Zenz's "significant" research findings and eventually expose how he concocted these lies through fabricating facts and falsifying data.

Children play in Dove Lane, in the old town of Tuancheng in Hotan, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. [Photo by SADAT/Xinhua]

Rumor: The natural population growth rate in Xinjiang has a sharp decrease.

Fact:

To denigrated maliciously denigrated China's population policy based on ethnic equality as a "genocide" policy, Zenz asserted that since 2015, the natural population growth rate in Xinjiang has dropped sharply, and in 2018 the natural population growth rate of Hotan and Kashgar was merely 2.58‰(See Zenz's report, p2, p8.).

Yet, the data Zenz cited in the report is seriously inconsistent with real official statistical data. According to Xinjiang Statistical Yearbook 2019, the natural population growth rates of the four prefectures in south Xinjiang in 2018 are as follows: Kizilsu Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture was 11.45‰, Aksu Prefecture was 5.67‰, Kashgar Prefecture was 6.93‰, Hotan Prefecture was 2.96‰(SeeXinjiang Statistical Yearbook 2019, "Table 3-6: Natural Changes of Population by Prefecture, City, County", p82-83.). In addition, Zenz did not indicate the accurate source of relevant data when he referring to the natural population growth rates in Hotan and Kashgar. Thus, the data probably is untrustworthy, and its authenticity is problematic as well.

Xinjiang's natural population growth rate has indeed declined since 2015, however, its decline is by no means as "sharp" as described in Zenz's report. Xinjiang's natural population growth rate in 2018 is 6.13‰, which was higher than the national natural population growth rate of 3.81‰ (See Chinese Statistical Yearbook 2019, "Table 2-8 the urban-rural composition, birth rate, death rate, and natural growth rate of population by regions (2018)", http://www.stats.gov.cn/tjsj/ndsj/2019/indexch.htm, accessed on September 2, 2020.). In final section, by presenting the objective data and some specific cases, I will argue that the changes occurring in the natural growth rate of Xinjiang's population is a reasonable phenomenon, rather than consequence of so-called mandatory intervention by Chinese government, elaborate the reasons of decreasing growth rate in Xinjiang —it is mainly caused by decreasing fertility willingness of ethnic minority women, and amply reflects China's efforts and achievements in promoting the protection of women's and children's rights over a long period of time.

Pompeo and Zenz's claim is a groundless statement that the decreasing natural population growth rate in Xinjiang is mainly caused by mandatory birth control policies implemented by Chinese government upon ethnic minority residents. "Regulations on Population and Family Planning of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region", the local regulation related to Xinjiang's family planning policy that was newly revised in July 2017, clearly stated that Xinjiang implements the birth policy that one urban couple is admitted to have two children, and one rural couple is admitted to have three children(See https://www.sohu.com/a/352896992_363955, accessed on September 2, 2020.). There is no conflict between this newly revised regulation and the previous regulation in referring to the family planning policy of ethnic minorities —after new regulation being issued,the urban ethnic minority couples still have the right of having two children, and the rural couples also have kept the right of having three children.The protection of reproductive rights of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang is exactly the concrete manifestation of Chinese government's insistence in protecting the legal rights of all the ethnic groups without any discrimination. Western countries' defamation of Xinjiang's family planning policies is completely nonsense and only reflects their extremely sinister intentions.

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