| 24 May 2024, Friday |

China’s white paper claims rise in Uyghur population in Xinjiang

The population of ethnic minorities in the restive Xinjiang region has grown in “size and quality” as the government released a white paper on Xinjiang’s population, claimed China’s state-run Global Times in its report

The report titled “Xinjiang Population Dynamics and Data” said the Uyghur population in 1953 was 3.61 million which rose to 11.62 million in 2020.

China’s national newspaper said it was the first white paper released since 2015 on Xinjiang’s demographic changes which sought to show “demographic development in Xinjiang” in the last 70 years.

The Communist Party mouthpiece also informed similar white papers were also released on “human rights achievements” including in “vocational training and education centres”.

The data reportedly found that life expectancy in Xinjiang had also increased. The report said the total population of Xinjiang was 25.85 million with ethnic minorities numbering 14.93 million and the Han ethnic group totalling 10.92 million.

“The Uyghur population grew at a compound annual growth rate of 1.67 per cent during the first two decades in the 21st century,” the report said while adding that Uyghurs formed over 83 per cent of Xinjiang’s population in four prefectures in the southern region.

There is however no way to corroborate the population figures. The report also dismissed reports of genocide in Xinjiang claiming the Chinese government had published “undeniable facts”.

Earlier this month UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet had said she “regretted” not being able to get “meaningful access” to Xinjiang.

At least 1 million Uyghurs including other minorities are believed to be in detention camps in Xinjiang, according to a UN estimate.

Chinese products made in Xinjiang have become the focus of attention among countries as the US Senate passed a legislation in July to ban products imported from Xinjiang.