China criticizes Twitter for locking the handle of its US embassy

Beijing, Jan 21 (efe-epa).- China on Thursday criticized social network Twitter for locking the access of its embassy in the United States to its account on the platform after a tweet defending Chinese policies for Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang province.

“It is a confusing move that Twitter locked the account of the Chinese Embassy in US for a post on Xinjiang topic. We hope Twitter does not adopt double standards on the issue and can distinguish disinformation from truth,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a press conference, according to official daily Global Times.

Twitter had locked the account after the Chinese embassy published a post that cited state-owned China Daily to claim that Uyghur women had been “emancipated” and were no-longer “baby-making machines,” thanks to Beijing’s efforts to “eradicate extremism” in Xinjiang.

The tweet was subsequently removed by Twitter, and the Chinese embassy has not published any more posts from its handle since Jan. 9.

The conflict comes soon after the administration of former US president Donald Trump, who was succeeded in office by Joe Biden on Wednesday, termed Beijing’s “repression” of predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minorities in Xinjiang as “genocide.”

In response, China on Thursday imposed sanctions on the outgoing US secretary of state Mike Pompeo and other officials of the Trump administration for “violating” its sovereignty, while congratulating Biden on his inauguration.

China denies that it has been running a campaign to reduce the birth rate among Xinjiang’s Uyghurs and earlier this month claimed that between 2010 and 2018, the population of the ethnic group in the province had jumped by 25.04 percent.

Beijing also insists that there are no detention centers or forced labor camps in Xinjiang – despite human rights groups alleging that more than a million Muslims have been subjected to arbitrary arrests in recent years – and that there only exist “centers of professional training” in line with international anti-terror norms. EFE-EPA


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