Twitter blocks 'dehumanizing' Chinese Embassy tweet claiming Uighur women are no longer 'baby-making machines'

uighur women london protest
A woman holds a placard during a London protest in support of Uighur people over ongoing human rights violations in China's Xinjiang autonomous region on October 08, 2020. Hasan Esen/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
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  • On Thursday, the Chinese Embassy in the US posted a tweet claiming that Uighur women were no longer "baby-making machines" because of the eradication of extremism.

  • Twitter removed it on Saturday morning for violating rules against "the dehumanization of a group of people," according to Ars Technica.

  • The tweet was linked to an article, published by the Chinese Communist Party, that celebrated the decline in birth rates in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of northwestern China.

  • China has been accused of using inhumane birth control practices on Uighur women. Forced abortions, sterilization, and unwanted IUDs are "widespread and systematic" practices, according to the AP.

  • Sens. Tom Cotton and Rick Scott had condemned the tweet. A number of other politicians criticized it and urged Twitter to take it down.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

On Saturday morning, a tweet posted by the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC was removed by Twitter for violating the platform's rules against dehumanization.

The tweet, posted on Thursday, drew widespread condemnation for claiming that Uighur women have had their minds "emancipated" and are no longer "baby-making machines."

"We prohibit the dehumanization of a group of people based on their religion, race, or ethnicity, among other categories," a Twitter spokesperson told Ars Technica.

The post read: "Study shows that in the process of eradicating extremism, the minds of Uygur 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 tweet linked to an article published by China Daily - the Chinese Communist Party's English-language newspaper.

twitter chinese embassy uighurs
The now-deleted tweet by the Chinese Embassy in the US. Twitter

The article claims that a decrease in birthrates in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in 2018 resulted from "the eradication of religious extremism." It also refers to "family planning policies" being implemented in the region.

The Uighurs are a mostly-Muslim minority group in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of northwestern China. Estimates suggest that at least one million of them could be interned in so-called 're-education camps,' according to Foreign Policy.

China has been accused of reducing the birth rate of Uighur women by using inhumane practices, such as force-feeding birth control pills. The practice is "widespread and systematic," according to an AP investigation.

Uighur women are regularly subjected to pregnancy checks, unwanted IUD devices, forced abortions, and sterilization, the news agency also reported.

The article's implication that Uighur women are now more "confident and independent" was condemned by several high profile figures.

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas tweeted that it is a reminder that China is "an evil pariah state."

Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida referred to China's treatment of the Uighurs as "a genocide" and said that "propaganda can't hide their crimes." He had urged Twitter to censor the tweet.

Rep. Michael Waltz of Florida's 6th congressional district called it "genocidal." Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado's 4th congressional district called it "sickening."


Iain Duncan Smith, former leader of the UK's Conservative Party, wrote: "How disgusting of the US Chinese Embassy to attempt to justify the progressive eradication of the Uyghur people."

Other British MPs also expressed their disgust at the tweet.

Azis Isa Elkun, a Uighur Muslim academic, explained to Business Insider: "The Chinese Embassy's tweet was, of course, trying to deceive the Western world."

Isa Elkun continued: "The Chinese state is committing genocide on Uighurs. The Western world must act now and keep the promises of 'never again.' It must hold China accountable for the Uighur genocide before it's too late."

Despite the widespread condemnation, Twitter had originally told Ars Technica that it did not violate its policies against hateful conduct.

Although the Chinese Embassy tweet has since been removed, the article remains on China Daily's Twitter feed.

Read the original article on Business Insider