“End the Dominance of the Uyghur Ethnic Group”: An Analysis of Beijing’s Population Optimization Strategy in Southern Xinjiang
Central Asian Survey
28 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2021
Date Written: June 8, 2021
Chinese academics and politicians in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region have argued that the region’s “terrorism” problem can only be solved by “optimizing” southern Xinjiang’s ethnic population structure. High Uyghur population concentrations are deemed a national security threat. “Optimizing” such concentrations is achieved by embedding substantial Han populations. Scenarios that do not overburden the region’s population carrying capacity entail drastic reductions in ethnic minority natural population growth. The intent to “optimize” the population serves as a basis to assess the intent to destroy an ethnic minority population in part, as outlined in the 1948 U.N. Genocide Convention. The “destruction in part” is assessed as the difference between projected natural population growth without substantial government interference, and reduced growth scenarios in line with population “optimization” requirements. Based on population projections conducted by Chinese researchers, this difference could range between 2.6 and 4.5 million persons by the year 2040.
Keywords: Xinjiang, Uyghurs, ethnic minorities, birth control, population, genocide
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