Monday, 05 November 2012

China Think Tank Recommends End to Brutal One-Child Policy

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A think tank in Communist China is recommending that the government do away with its 30-year policy that has limited most Chinese couples to having but one child. The China Development Research Foundation (CDRF) is suggesting that by 2015 the government segue into allowing families the luxury of two children, according to AFP News. The proposed change “would see the world's most populous country eventually abandon a measure that has been blamed for creating a demographic time bomb,” reported the French news agency, “with an aging population foreshadowing huge economic and social problems.”

In its report evaluating the policy, which has been widely condemned by religious leaders and pro-life organizations around the world, the CDRF said that “problems in population structure, quality, and distribution have become increasingly visible and will have a profound impact on China's future social and economic development. China has paid a huge political and social cost for the policy, as it has resulted in social conflict, high administrative costs, and led indirectly to a long-term gender imbalance at birth.”

The Associated Press briefly touched on the “political and social cost” of the policy, noting that while the Chinese government “credits the policy with preventing hundreds of millions of births,” the imposed family limits “have led to forced abortions and sterilizations, even though such measures are illegal. Couples who flout the rules face hefty fines, seizure of their property and loss of their jobs.”

The CDRF is recommending that following the 2015 increase to two children, the government should do away with all restrictions by 2020, “as people will make more rational decisions on birth issues.”

China experts say that the study most likely represents more than just recommendations, and reflects planned policy for the Communist government. Cai Yong, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, told the AP that because the think tank is under China's State Council, its recommendations portend a long-range government plan for scrapping the restriction on children. “That tells us at least that policy change is inevitable,” said Cai. “It's coming, but we cannot predict when exactly it will come.”

The UK's Telegraph newspaper quoted Li Jiamin, a specialist in population studies at China's Nankai University and one of the study's authors, as saying that Chinese officials have been discussing the policy change since 2000, but “it is just a matter of finding the right solution. Making the jump to two children is only a matter of time now.”

He warned that “if China sticks to the one-child policy, we are looking at a situation as bad as the one in southern Europe. Old people will make up a third of the population by 2050.”

Another of the report's authors, Cui Fang, head of the Population and Development department at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said: “In the past, family planning was important for our national development, but now the country has changed and the decision about how many children to have should be given back to families.”

The report comes mere months after a high-profile and embarrassing standoff between the Chinese government and pro-life dissident Chen Guangcheng, who suffered years of abuse and imprisonment because of his efforts to expose the forced sterilizations and abortions that thousands of Chinese women faced for trying to bear more than one child. Chen fled house arrest in May, escaping to the U.S. embassy in Beijing for six days before he was handed over to Chinese authorities by U.S. officials. After intense pressure was exerted on the Chinese government by pro-life, religious, and other leaders from around the world, Chen and his family were allowed to relocate to the United States.

While Chen has been somewhat silent since his release (no doubt because of concerns over family members who are still at the mercy of the vindictive Chinese regime), Reggie Littlejohn of Women's Rights Without Frontiers has continued exposing the terror that has existed for 30 years under the one-child policy. The most damning evidence Littlejohn has used is an English translation of Chen's own field notes from his years of gathering evidence of how China “enforced” its policy. reported that the stories Chen compiled “are shocking, even for those familiar with the forced abortion abuses that take place as a result of China’s one-child policy.”

While Chen’s field notes date from around 2005, Littlejohn said that much more recent evidence exists showing that abuse is still going on. A photo of a “full term baby floating in the bucket in which it was drowned circulated widely on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, eliciting widespread outrage,” Littlejohn told LifeNews in an interview shortly after Chen was released. She added that “in April 2011, Family Planning officials stabbed a man to death when attempting to seize his sister for a forced sterilization.” And, Littlejohn recalled, “in October 2011, a woman, six months pregnant, died during a forced abortion in Lijing County....”

Meanwhile, even as news reports surface saying that China has begun to crack down on the abuse, LifeNews reported November 2 that in early October a pregnant mother of two was abducted from her home in Heilizhai, Shandong and driven to a hospital nearly 100 miles away, where “officials confiscated her cell phone and stripped her clothing when she tried to resist. They injected her with a sedative, pressed her finger to a 'consent form,' then injected a chemical solution into her womb to induce an abortion.” Afterwards, continued LifeNews, the “family planning” officials locked the woman “inside the hospital and neglected to return her clothes to her. She had to remain at the hospital alone until she delivered her stillborn baby on October 5.”

Photo: blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng is seen on a video posted to YouTube Friday, April 27, 2012 by overseas Chinese news site AP Images

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