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Adrian Zenz's lies on Xinjiang's population debunked (6) | Updated: 2020-09-15 11:25
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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, 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 pose for a photo at a kindergarten at Liangzhongchang village in Yutian county of Hotan, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Feb 13, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

Rumor: The natural growth rate of the Han population in one residential district in Hotan was nearly 8 times higher than that of the Uygur population in 2018.

Zenz stated that the natural growth rate of the Han population in Gulbagh Residential District in Hotan was nearly 8 times higher than that of the Uygur population in 2018, and claimed that "Beijing is doubling down on a policy of Han settler colonialism" (Zenz's report,p3, p9.).


The facts again are distorted. First, Zenz did not indicate the source of the data about the natural population growth rate of Gulbagh Residential District, and thus the authenticity of the data source cannot be verified. Second, a variety of factors may cause the significant change of the natural population growth rate of one district. For instances, the birth rate may significantly increase in one district during a short period, if a large number of young people or new couples flood into this district due to some reasons, such as urban renewal or relocation. Third, Zenz's conclusion was invalid as it severely violated the basic principle of statistics — even if the data is true, the change concurring in one district especially in a very short period would be inadequate to reflect the overall change in one county or city. Actually, if we compare the demographic changes of Han population with that of Uygur population in Hotan from 2017 to 2018, it shows that the number of total Uygur population in Hotan increased, while that of total Han population decreased (Data source: Table 3-7 "population by region, state, city, county and by ethnic group" in Xinjiang Statistical Yearbook 2018 and Xinjiang Statistical Yearbook 2019.). In the essence, Zenz's conclusion about "Han settler colonialism" was totally a lie made by playing the numbers game.

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