Twitter suspends Chinese embassy over Uighur post

China's embassy in Washington has now had its Twitter account suspended, over a tweet in which it defends its policy toward Uighur Muslims in China.

The decision by the tech giant came just a day after the outgoing Trump administration, in its final hours, accused China of genocide against the minority group - a label that the new Biden administration appears to agree with.

The tweet posted earlier this month has been hidden from users. But it originally stated that in China's battle against extremism, the minds of Uighur women in Xinjiang province had been "emancipated," and that they were no longer "baby-making machines" - citing a study by Chinese media.

Twitter says the statement was "dehumanizing" toward Uighurs, a violation of its policy.

This was the response from the Chinese foreign ministry's spokeswoman, Hua Chunying:

"There is a lot of false and ugly information out there about China. The Chinese Embassy in the United States certainly has the responsibility and obligation to clarify the facts and explain the truth. Therefore, we are puzzled that Twitter has imposed restrictions on the accounts of the Chinese Embassy in the United States for this reason. We hope that Twitter can uphold the principle of objectivity and fairness and not show double standards on this issue."

China has repeatedly rejected accusations of human rights abuses in Xinjiang province. It says it's conducting rehabilitation and redemption programs for extremists, and allegations otherwise are groundless and false.

The United Nations has said that at least a million Muslims are being detained in camps there.

Last year a report by a German researcher and Washington think tank claimed that Chinese authorities had subjected Muslims in the province to forced sterilization, abortion, and other abuses.

The Trump administration called the claims "horrific" at the time.

Video Transcript

- China's embassy in Washington has now had its Twitter account suspended over a tweet in which it defends its policy toward Uighur Muslims in China. The decision by the tech giant came just a day after the outgoing Trump administration in its final hours accused China of genocide against the minority group, a label that the new Biden administration appears to agree with.

The tweet posted earlier this month has been hidden from users, but it originally stated that in China's battle against extremism, the minds of Uighur women in Xinjiang province had been emancipated, and that they were no longer, quote, "baby-making machines," citing a study by Chinese media. Twitter says the statement was dehumanizing toward Uighurs, a violation of its policy. This was the response from the Chinese foreign ministry's spokeswoman, Hua Chunying.

HUA CHUNYING: [SPEAKING MANDARIN]

INTERPRETER: There is a lot of false and ugly information out there about China. The Chinese Embassy in the United States certainly has the responsibility and obligation to clarify the facts and explain the truth. Therefore, we are puzzled that Twitter has imposed restrictions on the accounts of the Chinese embassy in the United States for this reason. We hope that Twitter can uphold the principles of objectivity and fairness and not show double standards on this issue.

- China has repeatedly rejected accusations of human rights abuses in Xinjiang province.

[MUSIC - "IF YOU'RE HAPPY AND YOU KNOW IT"]

- (SINGING) If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands.

- It says it's conducting rehabilitation and redemption programs for extremists, and allegations otherwise are groundless and false. The United Nations has said at least a million Muslims are being detained in camps there. Last year, a report by a German researcher and Washington think tank claimed that Chinese authorities had subjected Muslims in the province to forced sterilization, abortion, and other abuses. The Trump administration called the claims horrific at the time.