Washington: Popular micro-blogging site Twitter has locked the official account of Chinese Embassy in the US over its earlier tweet which claimed that Uighur women in Xinjiang region are now "emancipated" and no longer "baby-making machines", creating another chapter of embarrassment for Beijing.
The account is still locked, a Twitter spokesman confirmed to Bloomberg, meaning China’s U.S. embassy has not deleted the tweet. Operating under the handle @ChineseEmbinUS, the Chinese Embassy has not posted since Jan. 8, having published at least a dozen more tweets after the one breaking Twitter’s rules.
“We have taken action on this Tweet for violating our policy against dehumanization,” a Twitter spokesman told Bloomberg in a statement. Twitter prohibits the “dehumanization of a group of people based on their religion, caste, age, disability, serious disease, national origin, race, or ethnicity.”
The embassy’s tweet had asserted that Muslim minority Uighur women were “emancipated” by Beijing’s efforts to “eradicate extremism” in its northwestern Xinjiang province, reports Hong Kong Free Press.
The post shared an article by state media China Daily last Thursday denying reports of forced sterilisation of Uighur women by Chinese authorities.
Instead, the article claimed the decrease in the Uighur population in Xinjiang was a result of the “eradication of religious extremism” which gave women more “autonomy", reports Hong Kong Free Press.
“They are more confident and independent,” the removed tweet had read, saying authorities’ population control measures promoted “gender equality and reproductive health,” meaning Uighur women were “no longer baby-making machines.”
The embassy also posted another tweet quoting a report released by state media outlet Xinhua.
Reacting to the development, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters on Thursday: " We noted the restriction Twitter has placed on the account of the Chinese embassy in the US. Its regulatory rules have come under much public attention. We also have concerns over this."
She said: "I'm sure you've all noticed how the United States is suffering under the severe impact of swarming conspiracy theories and disinformation on social media. China is also a major victim. As there is so much ugly disinformation on China's Xinjiang, the Chinese embassy in the US naturally has the responsibility and obligation to clarify things and present the truth."
She said China finds Twitter's restriction on the embassy account 'baffling'.