China admits Uighur birthrate has dropped by nearly one-third
Chinese officials have admitted that birth rates have plummeted among its ethnic Uighurs, fuelling claims that Beijing is subjecting its Muslim minority to a campaign of forced birth control. Official statistics show that in Xinjiang, the north-western province where most of the 10 million strong Uighur community live, birth rates dropped by almost a third in 2018. The figures follow accusations that Beijing is attempting to reduce the Uighur population by threatening women with fines or spells in mass detention camps if they flout harsh family planning measures. At least a million Uighurs are believed to have passed through the detention camps in recent years, which Beijing insists are voluntary schools to teach Uighurs of the dangers of Islamic extremism. Human rights groups say they are used to eradicate Uighur culture, in tandem with forced abortion and sterilisation policies that amount to “demographic genocide”.