Twitter locks account of China’s US embassy over Xinjiang post

Twitter locks account of China’s US embassy over Xinjiang post

Beijing says confused by move and claims tweet was to ‘clarify the truth’

SHANGHAI (Reuters) — Twitter has locked the account of China’s U.S. embassy for a tweet that defended China’s policy towards Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang, which the U.S. social media platform said violated its stand against “dehumanizing” people.

China’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that it was confused by the move and that it was the embassy’s responsibility to call out disinformation and clarify the truth.

The Chinese Embassy account, @ChineseEmbinUS, posted a tweet this month that said that Uighur women had been emancipated and were no longer “baby-making machines”, citing a study reported by state-backed newspaper China Daily.

The tweet was removed by Twitter and replaced by a label stating that it was no longer available. Although Twitter hides tweets that violate its policies, it requires account owners to manually delete such posts. The Chinese embassy’s account has not posted any new tweets since Jan. 9.

Twitter’s suspension of the embassy’s account came a day after the Trump administration, in its final hours, accused China of committing genocide in Xinjiang, a finding endorsed by the incoming Biden administration.