Congressional Hearing: China ‘Two-Child Policy’ Continues Communist Control of Fertility

Frederic J Brown/AFP/Getty
Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty

Experts and human rights activists at a congressional hearing assert that China’s recently announced switch to a “two-child policy” is nothing more than a continuation of the Communist Party’s control over its citizens through terror, and that little will change as a result of it.

In his own testimony during the hearing, titled “China’s Announced ‘Two-Child Policy’ and the Continuation of Massive Crimes Against Women and Children,” Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), co-chair of the Congressional Executive Committee on China, said, “The Chinese government has spent the past 35 years telling couples what their families must look like.”

Smith continued:

The “one-child policy” may possibly become a ‘two-child policy’ but China’s police state population control policies will not end anytime soon. The Chinese government retains the power to tell couples what their families must look like and the power to punish those who disobey birth quotas.  For the past 35 years the Chinese government has wasted precious human potential and sanctioned state-sponsored violence against women and children–enabled by pro-abortion groups globally and the United Nations Population Fund. No one should applaud China’s announced “two-child” policy; instead we should be insisting they abolish intrusive and abusive birth restrictions forever.

The Communist Party in China, via its own news agency, has extolled the new two-child policy as a means to add 30 million people to the Chinese workforce by the year 2050.

“In the long-term, the positive effect on economic growth will be significant,” said Wang Pei’an, vice minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, asserting that China would continue to assume absolute control over family planning.

“A large population is China’s basic national condition so we must adhere to the basic state policy of family planning,” he said.

Particularly significant in Smith’s testimony is his assertion that the Obama administration has “completely failed to enforce and implement” existing U.S. law that bars Chinese officials associated with the policy from entering the United States.

“The Chinese government is not the only one culpable in these heinous crimes against women and children,” Smith states. “The UN Population Fund helped fund birth restrictions, fund forced abortions, and a massive and coercive family planning bureaucracy.”

“The UNFPA whitewashed China’s crimes for decades and continues to do so today,” he asserts, adding that on its website UNFPA “justifies its history in China, saying that they ‘were tasked by the Executive Committee’ to help China and had to ‘engage with China as a sovereign nation.’

Steven W. Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, confirmed in his testimony that while some are commending China for what appears to be a new dawn of individual freedom over fertility, Chinese leaders are not retreating from full control over reproductive freedom.

Mosher said:

No one in the senior leadership has ever lost any sleep over the 400 million unborn and newborn children their policy has killed over the past 35 years, or shed a tear for the hundreds of millions of young mothers forcibly aborted and sterilized over this same period, or had a moment’s regret for China’s tens of millions of missing baby girls.

What keeps them up at night is the dawning realization that their misguided policy is crippling China’s future economic growth. For at least the past two years, China’s workforce has been shrinking. Last year, the potential workforce fell by 3.71 million, a significant number even by China’s standards. At the same time, the over-sixty population is exploding. According to U.N. projections, it is expected to more than double by 2050, reaching an astonishing 437 million. China is growing old before it grows rich, and the strains on China’s nascent pension programs will be enormous.

Sarah Huang, a Chinese mother and activist testified, “In America you have a choice, you can choose to speak up for the innocent or to stay silent. In my country, women are told they cannot speak up for their own bodies or for the children in their womb.”

Huang continued on the torturous existence for Chinese women who are forced to undergo abortions:

In China this struggle is not about “pro-life” or “pro choice”, but about enduring torture (a forced or coerced abortion) or enduring strict punishment for disobeying. It is because of this that my phones ring constantly by the very few women that are courageous enough to defy the policy to keep their child. Complete strangers frequently call me and say, “I’m pregnant and have no options…I was told you can help me to keep my child.” Of course, I try to help them all.

Huang said the reported number of Chinese abortions is 13 million per year and 35,000 per day.

“I personally believe the number is much higher because these statistics only include hospitals that report their figures and most abortions occur in unauthorized ‘black’ clinics or at home,” she added, commenting that since China is a “shame-based culture,” Chinese families do not want the attention of having an abortion at an official clinic where they must show their ID and register.

“As a result, most Chinese women who receive abortions choose to do it anonymously at unregistered clinics, known as ‘black clinics,’” she said.

Huang discussed her own torturous existence:

Since the time my husband and I found out I was pregnant with my second child we have had to work extremely hard to keep my baby alive. Instead of arranging the nursery and having a baby shower, I have been in hiding, wondering and waiting if I will get caught for disobeying direct orders. I have actually been worried that government officials will find me and force my abortion. Because of this reality, I have had to risk fleeing to America in order to protect the baby in my womb. My family and I arrived in America just prior to Thanksgiving, and now I am given this chance to share with you today.

Reggie Littlejohn, president and founder of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, observed during her testimony, “A two-child policy will not end any of the human rights abuses caused by the One Child Policy, including forced abortion, involuntary sterilization or the sex-selective abortion of baby girls.”

“Regardless of the number of children allowed, women who get pregnant without permission will still be dragged out of their homes, strapped down to tables, and forced to abort babies that they want,” she said.

World-renowned demographer and American Enterprise Institute scholar Dr. Nicholas Eberstadt testified that China even backtracked on its announcement of an expansion to a two-child policy.

“Just days after the October 29 announcement, China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission, which oversees the population program, emphasized that the new norms were not yet ‘valid’ and described the Two-Child Policy as a ‘proposal,’ indicating furthermore that this proposal would have to be approved by Beijing’s legislature next year before it might eventually be enacted,” he said.

Nevertheless, Eberstadt explained, “By all indications, the sorts of ugly human rights violations that other witnesses will be describing here this morning—up to and including criminalizing out-of-quota pregnancies and forcibly compelling abortions against the will of the mother—will still be very much part and parcel of China’s population policy agenda.”

Sen. Marco Rubio – who co-chairs the Congressional Executive Commission on China with Smith – was not present at the hearing, but issued a statement in which he said the stories of trauma experienced by Chinese families under China’s one-child policy will still continue under the new policy as well.

Asserting that China’s is a “shameful legacy,” Rubio added that, according to the country’s latest census, “men outnumber women by at least 33 million,“ and that “estimates suggest that there will be a surplus of 40-50 million bachelors in China through the mid-to late 21st century.”

“Ultimately, China’s new two-child policy is as indefensible and inhumane as the one- child policy it replaces,” the senator said. “In fact, China’s new policy should be known as the “forced abortion of child #3” policy. China needs to recognize that its problem isn’t that it has too many innocent children; it’s that they have too many repressive communist adults with blood all over their clenched iron fists.”


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