Human Rights

Twitter row reveals China’s ‘lies’ surrounding persecuted Uighurs

Social media giant locks the account of China’s Embassy in US after it calls ‘sterilization’ campaign ‘emancipation’

Beijing has branded Twitter’s decision to lock the account of China’s United States embassy as an assault on “the truth.”

The decision was made after @ChineseEmbinUS posted a tweet earlier this month that said Uighur women had been “emancipated.” It also pointed out that they were no longer “baby-making machines,” citing a report by state-backed newspaper China Daily.

Last year, a study by German researcher Adrian Zenz accused China of forcing Uighur Muslim women to be sterilized or fitted with contraceptive devices in Xinjiang Provence.

The report published by the Jamestown Foundation in Washington prompted international calls for the United Nations to investigate.

In response, President Xi Jinping’s ruling Communist Party administration labeled the findings “lies.”

“We hope they [Twitter and the US] won’t apply double standards on this issue. We hope they can discern what is correct and truthful from disinformation on this matter,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a media briefing on Thursday, referring to the social media ban.

The facts:

What was said: “We’ve taken action on the Tweet for violating our policy against dehumanization, where it states: ‘We prohibit the dehumanization of a group of people based on their religion, caste, age, disability, serious disease, national origin, race, or ethnicity,’” a Twitter spokesperson said less than 24 hours after Pompeo’s “genocide” statement.

Reaction to the news: “There are numerous reports and information relating to Xinjiang that is against China. It’s a responsibility for our embassy in the US to clarify the truth,” Hua, of China’s Foreign Ministry, said.

China Factor comment: Beijing has continued to peddle a disingenuous narrative of the crimes committed in Xinjiang. The propaganda push has been spearheaded by the state-controlled and heavy-censored media, as well as government institutions. Independent journalism has been strangled by the Communist Party while social media posts are blocked by the Great Firewall if they do not reflect CCP policy. Free speech simply does not exist in the world’s second-largest economy. To illustrate the hypocrisy of the Party’s condemnation of Twitter is the fact that the online platform is banned in China.

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