The Chinese information and business website Sohu (搜狐网) on May 25 published an article on the demographic situation in Tajikistan with statistics on widows in the country. The publication of Radio Ozodi about this – “Chinese media: there are more than 800 thousand widows in Tajikistan” caused a strong reaction from readers.
For what reason the article about Tajik widows was removed, the editors of the Sohu website do not explain.
“Can you believe it? In Tajikistan, with more than 9 million people, there are more than 800,000 widows! The question is where are their husbands,” wrote the author of an article on a Chinese website. There are no links to sources of information in the article. The author argued that “according to statistics, after independence, the population of Tajikistan has decreased markedly, and the number of widows has increased over this period.”
There was no reaction from the Tajik authorities to this publication. Readers of Radio Ozodi’s websites and social media users condemned the Chinese website’s bias towards Tajikistan and Tajiks, while expressing concern about the increase in prostitution in the country and the marriages of Tajik girls to foreigners. Some users wrote that marrying a local man or a foreigner is the right of the girl or woman herself.
The Chinese media have published dubious statistics in articles about Tajikistan before.
At the beginning of 2021, the information portal “Flower – a Reflection of History” (鲜花畅谈历史), publishing materials on historical topics, on January 3, in the article “Where does Tajikistan originate from with 9.28 million people” claims that “Tajikistan has always been part of China.” In the article, without indicating any historical document, the reader is suggested the idea that not only Tajikistan, but the entire territory of Central Asia belonged to China.
Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin reacted to the article a month and a half later and called it “provocative.” After the publication of the article, a note was sent to the Chinese Foreign Ministry and that representatives of the Tajik Embassy in Beijing met with representatives of the relevant media, the Foreign Minister said. According to him, after the note was handed over, the article was removed from Chinese media websites, and the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that “such articles do not reflect the official position of Beijing.”
Source: Радио Озоди