Chen Guangcheng Asks American Company to take a more outspoken role against China’s “One Child” Policy

By Dave Andrusko

Chen Guangcheng

More than a few of our NRL News Today readers have written to ask what future I anticipated for Chen Guangcheng, the blind pro-life human rights Chinese activist. You’ll recall that Chen garnered international attention in 2005 when he exposed how local officials were forcing women to undergo abortions and sterilizations to comply with China’s brutal “One-Child” policy.

I had no inside information, but I felt confident a man of his stupendous courage and doggedness would not be passive.

Bloomberg  reported yesterday that in an interview this week, Chen “said iPhone-maker Apple Inc. should take a more outspoken role criticizing China for its one-child policy.”  He is, according to Bloomberg’s Sara Forden and Adam Satariano, “betting that Apple’s presence in China and the popularity of its products there will help draw attention to the issue.”

Chen told Bloomberg that “Apple in China should take a very active role,” adding, “There’s a huge social responsibility for these international corporations like Apple.” Apple hires manufacturers to assemble products such as the iPhone and iPad in China.

Chen and other China human-rights activists want to discuss their concerns directly in a meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook. “They sent a letter to Cook last week asking Apple to adopt measures to end coercive family planning practices in its factories,” Bloomberg reported. “The proposals included prohibiting access to factories for government family-planning officials and refusing to report women who are pregnant without birth permits. The group also wants other companies, including Cisco Systems Inc., to urge the Chinese government to drop its policy.”

The group denied that it was singling out Apple, saying instead in a letter to Cook that because of its size and consumer appeal, “Apple is in a unique position to take a leadership role in standing up against coercive family planning in China.”

In its story, Bloomberg noted “Apple isn’t alone in using manufacturers such as Foxconn in China to build some of the world’s leading consumer electronics. Samsung Electronics Co., Microsoft Corp., Dell Inc. and Hewlett- Packard Co. also use a network of suppliers in China to manufacture its devices.”

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