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UK announces sanctions against Xinjiang, China says Uighur women no longer baby-making machines

Christian Fernsby |
UK Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, announced a package of measures on Tuesday aimed at ensuring that British organisations are not complicit in the human rights violations taking place in the Chinese region of Xinjiang.

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Topics: XINJIANG    CHINA    UIGHUR    UK   

The measures include a review into which UK products can be exported to the area and the introduction of penalties for businesses that do not comply with the Modern Slavery Act.

Further measures include increasing support for UK public bodies to exclude businesses complicit in human rights abuses from their supply chains.

According to the government, evidence of gross human rights violations against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, including extra-judicial detention and forced labour, has been growing, including on the basis of proof from Chinese government documents.

China's ambassador to the UN warned Britain on Tuesday not to interfere in its affairs, after a British minister criticised Beijing's treatment of its Uighur minority during a Security Council meeting.

Zhang Jun slammed what he termed a baseless "political attack" after the speech at the Security Council from British government minister James Cleverly, which targeted alleged human rights violations against Uighurs and other minorities in China's northwestern Xinjiang region.

On January 7, the Twitter account of the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C., posted a tweet regarding China’s population policy in the northwestern Xinjiang region, home to China’s Uighur Muslim minority.

The tweet cited a study, "An Analysis Report on Population Change in Xinjiang," by Li Xiaoxia, a researcher for the Xinjiang Development Research Center.

The study claims that a decrease in the birthrate and natural population growth rate in Xinjiang in 2018 “resulted from the eradication of religious extremism.”

“Study shows that in the process of eradicating extremism, the minds of Uighur 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,” the embassy tweet read.

A screen capture from Wayback Machine showing a tweet of Chinese Embassy in U.S. on January 7, 2021, claiming Uighur women in Xinjiang, China had been "emancipated" from being "baby-making machines."

Twitter later told the technology news website Ars Technica they had deleted the tweet for “violating their rules against dehumanization.”


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