China’s Own Documents Show Potentially Genocidal Sterilization Plans in Xinjiang

China’s Own Documents Show Potentially Genocidal Sterilization Plans in Xinjiang

  • Ethnic minorities are being targeted by family planning departments as reproduction restrictions loosen on Han Chinese.

Performance targets:


Target 1: target population for intrauterine contraception device
placement 524 people


Target 2: [target] population for sterilizations 14,872 people.”


These are direct quotes from the 2019 family planning budget of
Hotan, the capital city of a prefecture with a population of 2.53
million in in southern Xinjiang, China. The neighboring county of
Guma, population 322,000, set a similarly precise “performance
target” figure of 5,970 intrauterine contraception device (IUD)
placements and 8,064 female sterilizations for that year.
These two counties, predominantly home to members of the
Uighur ethnic minority, planned to sterilize approximately 14 and
34 percent of women between 18 and 49—in a single year. Per
capita, that represents more sterilizations than China performed
in the 20 years between 1998 and 2018 combined. Documents
from Xinjiang’s Health Commission indicate that this is part of a
wider project targeting all of Xinjiang’s southern minority regions
in 2019 and 2020.


Since 2017, up to 1.8 million Uighurs, Kazaks, and other Turkic
minority groups in the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang
have been swept up in what is probably the largest incarceration
of an ethnoreligious minority since the Holocaust. Exile Uighurs
and China researchers have described this campaign as a “cultural
genocide.” Now, new research I published this month with the
Jamestown Foundation provides strong evidence that Beijing’s
actions in Xinjiang also meet the physical genocide criterion cited
in Section D of Article II of the United Nations Convention on the
Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide: “imposing
measures intended to prevent births within the [targeted] group.”