November 17, 2020

New Chinese Five-Year Proposal Emphasizes Eugenics

China President Xi Jinping
photo credit: Paul Kagame / Flickr

A new five-year population plan proposed by the Chinese government emphasizes eugenics by limiting the birth rates of minority populations, according to an expert.

The policy says that its goals for 2021-2025 are to “optimize its birth policy” and “improve the quality of the population.”

Columbia professor Leta Hong Fincher spoke at a virtual event held by the Center for International and Strategic Studies (CSIS) on Nov. 13. She said that the Chinese government's plans to control reproduction are part of a plan to maintain control by encouraging the growth of the dominant ethnic group, while systematically limiting the birth rate of ethnic minorities.

“We see it happening in Xinjiang with the forced sterilization of particularly Uyghur Muslim women. And the language in the plan suggests to me that the government is going to continue with that,” she said.

“You have seen a huge reduction in birth rates in Xinjiang and, on the flip side, the government is also trying to coopt and persuade Han Chinese women who are college-educated into having more babies.”

An investigation by the AP found that the Chinese Communist Party forces pregnancy checks, abortions, sterilizations, and IUDs on minority women.

China's previous five-year plan adopted a two-child policy, up from the one-child policy that the government used previously. Families who have more children than allowed by the government faced punishments such as forced abortions.

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