China tries to suppress births in Xinjiang

Chinese authorities are forcing women in the Xinjiang region to get IUDs or be sterilized as they tighten their grip on Muslim ethnic minorities and try to orchestrate a demographic shift that will diminish their population over generations.

Birthrates in the region have already plunged in recent years as the use of invasive birth control procedures has risen, part of a vast and repressive social re-engineering campaign by the Communist Party.

Over the past few years, the party has moved aggressively to subdue Uyghurs and other Central Asian minorities in Xinjiang, putting hundreds of thousands into internment camps and prisons. The authorities have placed the region under tight surveillance, sent residents to work in factories and placed children in boarding schools.

Response: Beijing has denied using the repressive measures. But interviews with more than a dozen people from Xinjiang, as well as a review of official statistics, government notices and reports in the state-run news media, depict a coercion effort. Some former detainees described being abused at internment camps and being forced to take drugs that stopped their menstrual cycles.