China’s Xinjiang has implemented its new family planning policy uniformly to all the groups and minorities. This implies that the new policy will be applicable for the Muslim Uyghur minority as well as the majority Han community of Xinjiang.
China’s national daily, Global Times, has reported that the move will promote ethnic equality among all groups. The report reads,
According to a revised regulation on Xinjiang’s family planning policy, regional ethnic minorities could no longer enjoy as lenient a family planning policy. It states that starting July 28, all urban couples in the region have been allowed to have two children, while rural couples can have three.
Huang Wenzheng, a Chinese expert on demographics says,
The change reflects the country’s respect for ethnic equality. This move should be expanded to other places, especially in minority areas, depending on local conditions.
Last year, China had relaxed its one child policy that was in effect since the past four decades. The one child policy was meant for the urban Han community whereas rural Han couples were allowed to have two children. Rules for the minority community on the other hand allowed urban minority couples to have two children and rural minority couples to have three children.
However, the new policy that came into effect on July 28 will encompass Muslims and other minorities, too. As per the revised regulations, Xinjiang’s family planning policy will not allow any lenience. All urban couples will be allowed to have two children while the rural couples can have a maximum of three.
This implies that the new rule comes as good news for the couples of Han Community who are desirous of having more children. Whereas for the minority community, including the Muslims, there is no change in the number of children they are allowed to have.
However, this move is likely to be seen as an effort to increase the Han population and an attempt to isolate Uyghur Muslims of Xinjiang who are already a minority. It is important to note that Han comprise more than 90 per cent of the overall population of China and about 40 per cent of Xinjiang.