Authorities debunk lies about Xinjiang birth control

Authorities of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region refuted rumors and lies conjured up by Adrian Zenz, a so-called scholar, on population and family planning issues during a press conference Saturday.

The claims by Zenz that the natural population growth in Xinjiang has declined dramatically, or that the region used forced sterilization methods, fly in the face of the facts.

Zenz claimed women like Zamira Dawut, Mihrigul Tursun and Tursunay Zinavdin, who were subjected to "unlawful detention," were forced to undergo compulsory sterilization by the government.

In March 2013, Zamira Dawut gave birth to her third child in the maternal and child care service center in the regional capital Urumqi and signed a consent form voluntarily, firmly requesting "to have a cesarean section and tubal ligation." The center subsequently conducted the operation as she requested. She was never sterilized, nor did she undergo a "uterus removal" as she claimed, said Iljan Anagyit, spokesperson for the information office of the regional government.

Mihrigul Tursun, another woman cited by Zenz, was detained for inciting ethnic hatred and discrimination by the public security bureau of Qiemo County on April 21, 2017. Except for her 20 days of criminal detention, Mihrigul Tursun lived a free life in China. She had never been sentenced and had never studied at any education and training center. Nor was she forced to take drugs against her will as she claimed.

Another investigation showed that there was no record confirming her undergoing a contraceptive operation, while her parents also said she is fertile.

Tursunay Zinavdin said women "detained" at the education and training center had to either accept sterilization or take birth control pills, claiming she was forced to undergo an irreversible tubal ligation. The truth is that she had never undergone contraception. She has been married twice -- the first marriage with her ex-husband Tursunjan Ahmetjan ended in divorce because of her infertility, and she has no child with her present husband as well.

Iljan Anagyit said the three women are all "actresses" and their words are not to be trusted.

Contrary to Zenz's claims that "Xinjiang's natural population growth has declined dramatically," the fact is that the region's population has been increasing, said Tursunay Abdurehim with the region's statistics bureau.

From 2010 to 2018, Xinjiang's permanent population increased by 13.99 percent to about 24.87 million, with the ethnic minority population up 22.14 percent to 15.86 million. The population of the Uygur ethnic group rose by 25.04 percent to nearly 12.72 million, according to the statistics.