A scholar from Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has slammed the hypocrisy over so-called freedom of speech in the US and the West, after Twitter deleted a tweet by the Chinese Embassy in the US which cited her report saying women in Xinjiang who have been “emancipated” from extremism are no longer forced to have babies and are becoming more independent and confident.
On January 8, the embassy released a tweet saying the study shows that in the process of eradicating extremism, the minds of Uyghur women in China’s Xinjiang were being emancipated and gender equality and reproductive health were being promoted, pointing out they were no longer “baby-making machines,” and “they are more confident and independent.”
The tweet cited a recently released report by Li Xiaoxia, a special researcher at the Xinjiang Development Research Center, that provides an overview of population changes in the region and explains why the current population transition in Xinjiang is the voluntary choice of local residents.
Li noted in her report that during Xinjiang’s efforts to eradicate extremism, women in Xinjiang have been freeing their minds and paying more attention to gender equality and reproductive health. They are getting rid of the pain of being coerced by religious extremism to be tools for producing babies and are becoming more confident and independent.
Li has been paying close attention to population issues in Xinjiang since the 1990s and her report is based on her field surveys and is backed up by abundant facts and data.
Li’s report also refutes anti-China scholar Adrian Zenz’s “report” which cites untenable data to accuse China of “suppressing” the birth rate of ethnic groups.
The Chinese Embassy in the US cited Li’s report, which came under attack from some US politicians and separatists from Xinjiang who continually pressured Twitter to delete the tweet. On January 9, the tweet was deleted by Twitter on the grounds that it was “dehumanizing.”
As of press time on Sunday, Twitter has not replied to questions from the Global Times on its criteria for making the decision.
In response to Twitter’s decision to delete the tweet on the grounds that it was “dehumanizing,” Li told the Global Times that it was ridiculous and distorted the facts. “Why did Twitter not label content that advocates extremism and persecuted women or lies made by anti-China forces? Why are tweets that said Xinjiang women are no longer being coerced to bear children and are independent and confident ‘dehumanizing’? This is ridiculous,” Li said.
“The incident showed how hypocritical the West and the US are when it comes to so-called freedom of speech,” Li said, noting that so-called freedom of speech is only used to serve their political purposes. She believes that the truth cannot be changed and she will carry on her research to debunk lies about China’s Xinjiang.