In a rare move against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Twitter locked the account of the Chinese embassy to the United States on Tuesday because the embassy posted a tweet in January that dehumanized Uyghur women by referring to them as “baby-making machines.”
The embassy’s January 7 tweet was part of an exceptionally bizarre CCP propaganda drive that strove to portray the forced sterilization of Uyghurs, a ruthlessly oppressed Muslim ethnic minority that lives mainly in China’s Xinjiang province, as a triumph for feminism.
The Chinese propaganda imitated Western feminist arguments for unlimited abortion by explaining that sterilized Uyghur women would have more time to focus on careers and personal pursuits after Chinese policy relieved them of the burden of raising children.
The Chinese embassy to the United States repackaged this propaganda in an exceptionally concise and outrageous manner, with a Tweet reading: “Study shows that in the process of eradicating extremism, the minds of Uygur women in Xinjiang were emancipated and gender equality and reproductive health were promoted, making them no longer baby-making machines. They are more confident and independent.”
Twitter administrators removed the Chinese embassy’s tweet after more than 24 hours of outrage from around the world. According to a statement from the company, the tweet was deemed a violation of Twitter’s policies against “dehumanization of a group of people based on their religion, caste, age, disability, serious disease, national origin, race, or ethnicity.”
According to a Wednesday report from Bloomberg News, the Chinese embassy’s account has been locked because it refused to delete the offending tweet.
“Even though Twitter hides tweets that violate its rules, it still requires the account owner to manually delete the post in order to regain access to the account,” Bloomberg explained.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry responded Thursday that it was “puzzled” by Twitter’s decision, defending the embassy’s outrageous tweet as an effort to correct “fake reports and information related to Xinjiang.”
“We hope Twitter can adhere to objective and fair principles and not display double standards on this issue,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said, describing her government as a “major victim” of “false and ugly information about China on Xinjiang related issues.”
“Of course, the Chinese Embassy in the US has responsibilities and obligations to clarify the facts and explain the truth,” she said.
Outgoing U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused the CCP of committing genocide against the Uyghurs on Tuesday.
“While the CCP has always exhibited a profound hostility to all people of faith, we have watched with growing alarm the Party’s increasingly repressive treatment of the Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups,” Pompeo said.
“If the Chinese Communist Party is allowed to commit genocide and crimes against humanity against its own people, imagine what it will be emboldened to do to the free world, in the not-so-distant future,” he warned.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry responded by calling Pompeo a “doomsday clown and joke of the century,” dismissing his genocide designation as “a piece of wastepaper.”
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