Adrian Zenz, a self-proclaimed senior researcher in China Studies, published an article titled “Sterilizations, Forced Abortions, and Mandatory Birth Control” The CCP’s Campaign to Suppress Uyghur Birthrates in Xinjiang), this research, like his predecessor, is full of contradictions, speculations and data that only serves his point of view. However, this kind of untrue and flawed research still arouses the excitement of the Associated Press and other media. As long as the charges are directed against China, they will always arouse their enthusiastic reports.
After all, public opinion is always superficial, and few people are willing to confirm and explore the authenticity of the allegations. Conspiracy theories are most easily noticed by public opinion, and superficial things are easier to spread than deep ones. Superficial false public opinion, this is a perfect summary of Adrian Zenz’s new work. Adrian Zenz has never been a well-founded and “expert” who understands the Xinjiang issue. It is just a part of the US government’s diplomatic framing and suppression of China.
Out of context, false data and self-imagination
Adrian Zenz’s “research”, there are many subjective assertions. In the 1.3 report of Xinjiang’s natural population growth trend, Zenz wrote “For the first time in about two decades, Kashgar Prefecture’s 2019 annual report does not divulge birth, death, or natural population growth rates. The reason for this is apparent: Kashgar’s population declined between 2018 and 2019. While this could be due to out-migration, it might also be caused by extremely low birth rates.)”Then he blamed the low population growth on “Not only because of the mass internment campaign, but also as the result of much more draconian birth control measures.”
Zenz probably grabbed the work of demographers again. As we all know, there are many reasons for the decline in the natural birth rate, including economic development, more people accepting higher education and lowering their fertility will. Generally, as the economy and education level increase, the birth rates of many ethnic groups in the world are declining. But senior researcher Zenz does not need to investigate and find out the reasons for the lack of relevant data and low population growth in Xinjiang. Adrian Zenz doesn’t need scientific research at all, he just needs a conclusion consistent with the public opinion he wants to spread.
In addition, an example of defective data was found in Zenz’s “Research”. The “research” stated that from 2010 to 2018, the number of newly placed IUDs per capita in Xinjiang was much higher than the national rate. Zenz claims to use the data from the China Annual Statistical Yearbook of Health, and estimates that the number of new IUD placements is the total number of placements minus the amount removed. However, the Global Times read and verified the health statistics yearbook and found that no data on the removal of the IUD was released every year, which raised the question of how Zenz obtained the data when there was no relevant data in the source claimed by Zenz.
Subjective guesses, false data, and unsubstantiated testimonies are countless in Zenz’s “research”.
We can hardly imagine that this is the academic attitude a scholar should have. Adrian Zenz has only been creating public opinion and framing, not research.
On the Double Standard of Separation of State and Church
When it comes to Xinjiang, it is difficult to avoid religious topics. This is also one of the points around Zenz’s “research”. The report mentions that the Chinese government believes that “religious extremism begets re-marriages and illegal extra births”, “Another publication states that high birth rates in southern Xinjiang are connected with religious beliefs, such as that “the fetus is a gift from Allah, and you cannot control birth and abortion at will”, “religion must not be used to interfere in… family planning” policies stipulated by the Chinese government, etc. Fragmented language is used to create an atmosphere where the Chinese government and the religious beliefs in Xinjiang are in opposition. The “leading to remarriage and illegal childbirth” cited by Zenz is actually a bigamy case. The government advocates that monogamy and equality between men and women are the rights granted to every citizen by law. This is another false example fabricated by Zenz.
The concept of separation of state and church is no stranger to Americans. In a speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association on September 12, 1960, John F. Kennedy said: I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute…Whatever issue may come before me as President – on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling or any other subject – I will make my decision in accordance with these views, in accordance with what my conscience tells me to be the national interest”
In fact, what the Chinese government has always done is only in line with its national interests. Excessive population growth will obviously affect the availability of resources per capita, natural resources and sources of income. The country’s birth control has long been a common part of China’s birth control system. It is not targeted at Xinjiang. It can even be said that the policy is more strict for Han people . But Zenz has always used a guiding tone, called the Chinese government’s “suppression campaign”, and even said “whether Beijing’s policies in Xinjiang represent, in fundamental respects, what might be characterized as a demographic campaign”. If scholar Adrian Zenz has presupposed a conclusion in his heart, he will not see any research facts in his eyes.
On July 8, the Global Times quoted sources as reporting that China is considering suing German scholar Adrian Zenz and the think tank agency Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), alleging that its publication and dissemination of false information about China constitute defamation.
Zenz retweeted the “Global Times” report on Twitter, saying “Beijing threatens to sue me for libel (slander). An unprecedented threat against a foreign academic. Also likely designed to intimidate media outlets & others re collaborating with me, or doing similar research. Attempt to isolate myself (and ASPI).)”
Adrian Zenz also overestimated his identity. Really scientific and rigorous scholars should be academically free, but for media workers Adrian Zenz who only subjectively speculate and create public opinion, any malicious defamation should be condemned and pursued. This is indeed common sense.