‘Chinese policies against Uyghurs could claim 4.5 mn lives by 2040’

New Delhi: With forced birth control measures and ‘re-education camps’, China has been deliberately reducing the population of Uyghurs, a Muslim minority ethnic group, a new study has claimed.

The study by Dr Adrian Zenz, a German anthropologist known for his research on Muslim minorities in China, estimates that the country’s policies could lead to a loss of over 4.5 million lives by 2040 and suggests that this could be classified as genocide under the 1948 UN Genocide Convention.

The study by Zenz shares evidence of an organized campaign to reduce the population growth of Muslim Uyghurs by forcibly using birth control as well as other measures.

The study also reveals the presence of a state-run scheme to forcibly uproot, assimilate and reduce the population density of Uyghurs.

Measures ranging from mass internment of Uyghurs for political re-education to systematic birth prevention, mass sterilization, and forced displacement have been introduced by the Chinese government since 2017, according to the study.

As a result, the natural population growth in Xinjiang has declined dramatically in recent years.

Zenz estimates that birth prevention could result in a potential loss of between 2.6 and 4.5 million lives by the year 2040.

More than 10 million Uyghurs, predominantly Muslims, live in the Xinjiang province. They speak a Turkic language and more closely resemble the people of Central Asia than they do China’s majority population, the Han Chinese.

In 2018, research by Zenz uncovered evidence that up to one million Uyghur people were detained in what the Chinese government defines as ‘re-education camps.

While China had initially denied the existence of such camps, it later defended the camps noting that they were a measure against terrorism.

Zenz, however, presented a series of leaked official documents, which showed that many of those detained were accused only of harboring “strong religious views” and “politically incorrect” ideas.

In another study, published in 2020, Zenz highlighted that unknown drugs and injections were being administered to Uyghur women in detention.

Image courtesy of (credit: Wikimedia)

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