UN, foreign governments need to take action on China's forced sterilisations of Uighur women, expert urges

A German anthropologist is calling for an investigation after exposing China's treatment of Uighurs, including forced sterilisations of women to suppress their population.

Your playlist will load after this ad

Studying official documents and witness accounts, Adrian Zenz is claiming women are being sterilised in "re-education camps". Source: Breakfast

In Xinjiang, in north-west China, the Uighur people are under siege. It's estimated that over one million Uighurs have been detained in what the Chinese Communist Party calls "re-education camps".

It's a form of cultural genocide - enforced brainwashing designed to ensure the Muslim ethnic minority group is re-programmed in line with President Xi Jinping's apparent belief that loyalty and separate identity are mutually exclusive.

This has been widely reported and condemned, although journalists are unable to access the camps.

But Adrian Zenz, a senior fellow in China studies at the Victim's of Communism Memorial Foundation, has revealed Chinese authorities were carrying out forced sterilisations of Uighur women and other minority populations in the region.

The revelation is based on evidence from official documents, including government planning documents, budgets and reports, as well as witness statements from women who have escaped or been released from the camps.

China forces birth control on Uighurs to suppress population

This morning on TVNZ1's Breakfast, Mr Zenz called for an investigation into the camps.

"Now we are saying, okay, the United Nation's, national governments - they actually have constitutional obligations to prevent genocide. Now they need to launch investigations into determining what is going on and this has to be followed up by sanctions," he said.

However, when asked by Breakfast host John Campbell if there was any chance of that happening, Mr Zenz said he doesn't know.

He came across the revelations after looking into demographic data and population growth - or in this case a dramatic decline in population of Uighurs in 2017 and 2018.

"We have been knowing for years that Beijing has launched an unprecedented campaign of oppression, internment separating parents and children and now the latest revelations, to be quite honest, also came as a shock to myself.

"What I found was even worse than what I feared to be honest."

Mr Zenz found there were population targets of near zero per cent for 2020 and a plan for at least 80 per cent of all minority women to adopt a long-term, effective birth prevention mechanism, which refers to either sterilisations or the insertion of contraceptive devices.

"This is backed up by testimonies of women who underwent such treatment," he said.

There has also been many reports of forced abortions, but Mr Zenz said research found "in the past the Chinese authorities did a strategy, the strategy was focused on forced abortions, now trying to prevent any pregnancies in the first place".

According to Associated Press, Beijing has said in the past that the new measures are merely meant to be fair, allowing both Han Chinese and ethnic minorities the same number of children.