Communist China has been notorious for its brutal enforcement of the one-child policy since its implementation over 30 years ago. Women are required to have birth permits before becoming pregnant, and there have been many horror stories of government officials forcing women to undergo late-term abortions—sometimes in the eighth or ninth month of pregnancy — along with compulsory sterilizations. Those found in violation of country’s population policies have faced fines, prison time, and even the destruction of their homes.
The online edition of China’s People’s Daily quoted Wang Yuqing, a CPPCC member and deputy director of the Committee of Population, as assuring that the change to a “two-child” policy in urban areas would not lead to a population boom that the government had feared might occur if it allowed Chinese citizens to make their own decision on family size. “He said that birth rates in large cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai, are decreasing because the cost of raising a child has increased and young people’s attitudes have also changed,” reported the People’s Daily. “This is also consistent with the international trend. If quality of life reaches a certain level, the population will naturally decrease without government control.”
But Reggie LittleJohn, an attorney who heads up the human rights group Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, warned that China’s apparent easing of its onerous population policies is deceptive, and that the country will maintain its hard-line population enforcement.
“The problem with the one-child policy is not the number of children allowed,” Littlejohn told Baptist Press. “Rather, it is the fact that the policy is enforced through forced abortion, forced sterilization, and infanticide. Even if some couples will eventually be allowed to have two children, the Chinese Communist Party has emphatically not stated that they will cease their appalling methods of enforcement.”
Littlejohn noted that in areas where the two-child policy is in place, there is still wide-spread evidence of the aborting of baby girls because of a cultural preference for boys. “The areas in which two children are allowed are especially vulnerable to ‘gendercide,’ the sex-selective abortion of females,” Littlejohn said.
She cited a study of data from China’s 2005 national census showing 160 male births for every 100 female births, an imbalance that will result in an estimated 30 to 40 million more adult men than women in the next ten years. She told Baptist Press that the gender imbalance, the result of aggressive sex-selective abortion, “is a powerful, driving force behind trafficking in women and sexual slavery, not only in China, but in neighboring nations as well.”
In an attempt to highlight China’s murderous and repressive population policies, U.S. Representative Chris Smith (R-N.J.) has challenged the United Nations on its supposed commitment to protect the rights of women, calling on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to openly condemn China’s one-child policy and its record of forced abortion.
“To fail to speak out against what is by far the worst gender-based violence in history would make a mockery of the UN’s claim to promote women,” Smith said. He noted that the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has consistently turned a blind eye to China’s oppressive policies, which he called “the most massive human rights violation in the world today,” He insisted that it is high time for the global body to “cease and desist” in its sanction of China’s behavior.
Smith also targeted President Obama for hosting a state dinner for Chinese President Hu Jintao, who, the congressman pointed out, “oversees the most heinous attack on women ever.” Smith called on the Administration “to make a serious attempt, which it has not made heretofore,” to raise the issue of China’s repressive policies with its government officials. “Our hope is that the White House will take this issue up in a very serious fashion,” Smith said, adding that the President needs to work to “defund the UN Population Fund, which is the cheerleader and enabler-in-chief of the last 30 years of this policy.”