A new report by the Uighur Human Rights Project has found that China combines financial, educational, and occupational incentives with coercive measures such as intimidation of families to gain compliance with state policy. Its purpose is to promote marriage between the Han people and the minority Uighurs.
Carrots include cash payments, help with housing and medical care, administrative jobs, and tuition waivers.
The report explains the experiences of Uighur women living in exile. The “stick” young Uighur women and their parents face is the ever-present threat of punishment if the women declines to marry a Han “suitor.”
The report comes as Western governments and the UN have recognized China’s policies in Xinjiang lead to or may lead to genocide or crimes against humanity.
Analysis by the DC-based NGO shows that the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) promotion and enforcement of interracial marriage have increased since 2014.
CCP leader Xi Jinping proclaimed a “new era” at the Xinjiang Work Forum in 2014. The forum established a policy of “increasing contact, exchange, and integration among ethnic groups.” But unfortunately, the move served as gunfire that kicked off the wave of assimilation policies through marriage.
The report also cites an unofficial marriage guide for male Han Chinese party officials published in 2019, titled “How to Win the Heart of a Uighur Girl.”
According to it, Han Chinese men who want to marry Uighur women are told that the woman they love “must love the Motherland, love the Party, and she must have an unrivaled passion for socialist Xinjiang.”
Experts see intermarriage as a key part of state assimilation policies for Uighurs.
Nuzigum Setiwaldi, a co-author of the report, talked to RFA Uighur: “The CCP always talks about how interethnic marriages promote ‘ethnic unity’ and ‘social stability,’ but these are actually euphemisms for assimilation.”
Zenz, a senior fellow in China Studies, told RFA that the intermarriage strategy aims to “optimize the ethnic population structure, breaking the ‘dominance’ of concentrated Uighur populations in southern Xinjiang as part of a slowly unfolding genocidal policy.”
A statement by China’s foreign ministry dismissed U.S. efforts to contest the UN report last month. Instead, it said that “the human rights of people of all ethnic backgrounds in Xinjiang are protected like never before” and “the ultimate motive of the U.S. and some other Western countries behind their Xinjiang narrative is to contain China.”