China Embassy’s Twitter account locked after tweet defending treatment of Uighurs


On January 9, Twitter locked the account of China’s U.S. Embassy after it tweeted in defense of Beijing’s policy toward Uighurs. The account was restored Thursday.

The Chinese Embassy account, @ChineseEmbinUS, posted a tweet on January 7 claiming that Uighur women in the Xinjiang province “were emancipated” and “no longer baby-making machines.”

Twitter said the post violated its stand against “dehumanizing” people.

“We’ve taken action on the Tweet you referenced for violating our policy against dehumanization, where it states: We prohibit the dehumanization of a group of people based on their religion, caste, age, disability, serious disease, national origin, race, or ethnicity,” a Twitter spokesperson told Reuters Thursday.

During a Thursday briefing, China’s Foreign Ministry Hua Chunying said she was confused by the move and that it was the embassy’s responsibility to call out disinformation and clarify the truth.

“There are numerous reports and information relating to Xinjiang that are against China. It’s a responsibility for our embassy in the U.S. to clarify the truth,” she said.

“We hope they won’t apply double standards on this issue. We hope they can discern what is correct and truthful from disinformation on this matter.”

Earlier this week, the Trump administration classified the Chinese government’s policies toward Uighurs as genocide.

“After careful examination of the available facts, I have determined that the PRC [People’s Republic of China], under the direction and control of the CCP [Chinese Communist Party], has committed genocide against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement Tuesday.

Moreover, Pompeo said the Chinese government’s policies toward Uighurs were crimes against humanity, including arbitrary detention, torture, forced labor, sterilization and restrictions on freedom of movement, against Uighurs and other groups like ethnic Kazakhs and ethnic Kyrgyz.

Annaliese Levy

Annaliese Levy