China urges Twitter to discard double standards after it locks embassy account over Xinjiang post
Published: Jan 21, 2021 09:20 PM

Twitter Photo:VCG

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Thursday urged US social media platform Twitter to discard double standards in response to Twitter's restriction of China's US embassy account over a tweet related to Xinjiang topics, saying that Chinese embassies have the obligation to clarify false information.   

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying made the remarks in response to Twitter's block of China's US embassy account, after it failed to delete a tweet on topics on China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. 

On January 8, the Chinese Embassy in the US released a tweet saying a study shows that in the process of eradicating extremism, the minds of Uyghur women in China's Xinjiang were being emancipated and gender equality and reproductive health were being promoted, pointing out they were no longer "baby-making machines," and "they are more confident and independent." 

The tweet cited a recently released report by Li Xiaoxia, a special researcher at the Xinjiang Development Research Center, that provides an overview of population changes in the region and explains why the current population transition in Xinjiang is the voluntary choice of local residents.

The tweet had been under attack from some US politicians and separatists from Xinjiang who continually pressured Twitter to delete the tweet. On January 9, the tweet was removed by Twitter on the grounds that it was "dehumanizing" and replaced by a label stating that it was no longer available. 

Although Twitter hides tweets that violate its policies, it reportedly requires account owners to manually delete such posts, Reuters reported. The Chinese embassy's account has not posted any new tweets since January 9. 

Hua said on Thursday that she was confused by Twitter's restriction of the Chinese embassy's account and hoped the company would not adopt double standards on the issue. She said it should differentiate what is disinformation and what is truth. 

"We all noticed that there is a large amount of disinformation and conspiracy theories on US social media. The US has been deeply affected and China is also a victim… given that there is a lot of false information targeting China, the Chinese embassy has the obligation and responsibility to clarify and speak the truth," Hua said. 

Twitter's suspension of the Chinese Embassy in the US has sparked heated discussions on Chinese social media, with many netizens calling on Sina Weibo to suspend the US Embassy in China's account as a "reciprocal fight."

"The US always boasts of so-called freedom of speech, but look at what it has done! Trying to prevent our embassy from speaking the truth about Xinjiang.  Sina Weibo should suspend the US Embassy's Weibo as it is the one that spreads disinformation!" a netizen wrote. 

Global Times