In June an AP investigation found a systematic campaign by the Chinese Communist Party of pregnancy checks and forced abortions, sterilizations, and implantations of IUDs on Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang.
“The rights and interests of Uyghur and other ethnic minorities have been fully protected,” Xinjiang's government told CNN. “The so-called 'genocide' is pure nonsense.”
In Xinjiang an estimated 1 million Uyghurs, members of a Muslim ethnoreligious group, have been detained in re-education camps. Inside the camps they are reportedly subjected to forced labor, torture, and political indoctrination. Outside the camps, Uyghurs are monitored by pervasive police forces and facial recognition technology.
A leaked document from a county in Xinjiang details the personal information of some 3,000 Uyghurs. It gives violation of birth control policies as the most common reason for their “re-education”, often alongside other reasons.
The document if believed to have been prepared in May or June 2019. The Karakax List contains information regarding some 3,000 Uyghurs in Karakax County, about 800 miles southwest of Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang.
It shows that 484 persons were interned for re-education, only 12 of whom had no recorded reason for their detention. There were eight categories of the reasons for internment.
“No single coding category was dominant, even though violations of birth control policies constituted the most commonly cited reason for re-education, often along with other (typically religion-related) reasons,” Adrian Zenz, a Xinjiang researcher and senior fellow in China Studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, wrote in a recent paper analyzing the document.
Of the 484 detained persons, 149 had violated birth control policies.
From the late 1970s until 2015, China allowed most couples to have only one child. Since 2015, most couples have been permitted two children.
The Washington Post reported in October 2019 that women in Kazakhstan who say they had been detained in Xinjiang said they were forced to have abortions, had contraceptive devices implanted involuntarily, or were raped.
Other commonly cited reasons for internment in the document were that the persons were untrustworthy (116 persons), religion-related (101), and that they had overseas links (94).
Only 24 had committed a formal crime.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Zenz has also said that sterilizations in Xinjiang rose from fewer than 50 per 100,000 people in 2016, to nearly 250 per 100,000 in 2018.
And in 2018, IUDs were implanted at a rate of nearly 1,000 per 100,000 people in Xinjiang, while the rate for China in the same year was 21 per 100,000.
The birth rate in Xinjiang plunged by 24% in 2019, the AP said, and in certain parts of the region birth rates had fallen by more than 60% from 2015 to 2018.
The region's government told CNN: “As a part of China, Xinjiang implements family planning policies in accordance with national laws and regulations, and has never formulated and implemented family planning policies for a single ethnic minority.”
Uyghurs make up about 46% of Xinjiang's population; Han Chinese 39%, Kazakhs 7%, and Huis 5%. A large number of minorities make up the remaining 3%.
The Chinese government has defended its policy of mass detention and re-education as an appropriate measure against terrorism.