Twitter has locked the official account of China's Embassy in the US over a controversial post that referred to Muslim Uyghur women as "baby-making machines" prior to government intervention.
The tweet was originally shared on January 7. The micro-blogging platform removed the tweet, with a notification that it is no longer available.
Now, the account has also been permanently locked, according to several media reports. "We have taken action on this Tweet for violating our policy against dehumanisation," Twitter had said in an earlier statement.
China has faced fierce criticism of its treatment of minority Uighur Muslims living in the Xinjiang province. In a statement which came less than 24 hours before leaving office, former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that China "has committed genocide against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang".
Chinese embassy's "baby-making machines" tweet
In a tweet on January 7, the Chinese Embassy in the US had shared a China Daily report on the population change in Xinjiang published by the Xinjiang Development Research Center defending China's oppression of Uyghur Muslims.
The report said that the Muslim women in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) are "no longer baby-making machines" and that the decrease in population growth throughout the province has led to a drop in terrorism.
The tweet backing the Chinese government's policies against the Muslim community in spite of several reports revealing shocking data on involuntary abortions and sterilisations performed over the years in the region, invited instant scathing criticism from all corners of the globe.
"It is utterly appalling & shameful for the @ChineseEmbinUS & Communist #China to justify its genocidal policy in the #Uyghur region. I call on the international community to join USCIRF in condemning #CCP in the strongest terms," USCIRF (US Commission on International Religious Freedom) Commissioner Nury Turkel had tweeted.
Twitter first said that the Cis not against its rules, which ban "the dehumanisation of a group of people based on their religion, race, or ethnicity" but reversed its decision by removing it, saying it "violated the Twitter Rules."
Much has already been written about the Chinese government policies aiming at reducing birth rates among Uyghurs including involuntary abortions and sterilisations. It has been revealed that in 2018, 80 per cent of all the Intrauterine Device (IUD) placements in China were performed on women in the Uyghur Region, despite the region making up only about 1.8 per cent of China's total population.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson announced on Thursday that the government has decided to impose sanctions against Pompeo and 27 other high-ranking officials of the Trump administration, accusing them of "prejudice and hatred" against Beijing. The announcement came a day after Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the US on Wednesday.