Beijing, June 14 (EFE).- The population of ethnic minorities in the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang is nearly 15 million or more than 57 percent of the total inhabitants, the latest census data has shown.
The survey has found that the population of the country’s majority Han ethnic group in the region is 10.92 million or 42.24 percent of the total.
Regional officials of the province said Monday that the population of the so-called ethnic minorities, including the Muslim minority Uighurs and the Han, had increased continuously in the last decade to stand at nearly 26 million, state-run Global Times daily reported.
The figure represents an increase of 4.04 million people compared to the 2010 census, state-run news agency Xinhua reported.
According to the latest national census presented on May 11, China now has almost 1.412 billion inhabitants.
But no regional data of the once-in-a-decade survey was provided when the census was released last month.
Several Western countries, led by the United States, at the United Nations in May condemned the alleged abuses against the Uighur minority and other ethnic groups in Xinjiang by the Chinese government.
The condemnation piled up pressure on Beijing that denies the allegations and claims that such statements were aimed at harming its sovereignty over the region.
The countries said grave human rights abuses were taking place in the province.
They said minorities like the Uighurs were subjected to arbitrary arrests, torture, and forced labor.
Some governments, including the US, likened the situation to a “genocide” in the region.
Xinjiang’s local government spokespersons have repeatedly rejected that forced sterilizations or other practices were being carried out to reduce the Uighur population in the area.
In March, Beijing announced retaliatory measures against the United Kingdom, the European Union, and the US for their sanctions on China over the situation in Xinjiang.
On June 8, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature, approved a law against foreign sanctions to “safeguard national sovereignty, dignity and core interests.” EFE