By Rep. Chris Smith )R-NJ)
Editor’s note. Last week we posted the remarks of Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fl.), Cochairman of the Congressional Executive Commission on China, delivered at a Thursday hearing on “China’s New ‘Two Child Policy’ & the Continuation of Massive Crimes Against Women and Children. Today we are posting the remarks of Rep. Smith, Chairman, Congressional-Executive Commission on China.
The Chinese government has spent the past 35 years telling couples what their families must look like.
Thirty-five years of state sponsored violence against women including coerced abortions and involuntary sterilizations in the name of population control.
Thirty-five years of viewing children as “excess baggage” from the day they are conceived, particularly the girl child.
Thirty-give years or wasting precious human potential.
And, thirty-five years of committing massive crimes against women and children enabled by pro-abortion non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the United Nations Fund Population Fund (UNFPA).
Despite the platitude and applause by some being heaped on China’s announced “Two-Child Policy”— the proposal doesn’t change the basic structure of coercive population control and it is not some major reversal of policy to be lauded. And this so called reform isn’t a done deal yet. According to world famous demographer Dr. Nicholas Eberstadt, who will testify today, the “One-Child Policy” may become a “Two-Child Policy” but the coercive population control apparatus remains unchanged.
Dr. Eberstadt says, “To be clear: that shift has not yet taken place. To the contrary: 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 2 proposal would have to be approved by Beijing’s legislature next year before it might eventually be enacted.”
That said, the “Two-Child Policy” may allow for more births – if “enacted” at some future date – but it does not remove the pernicious incentives given to local officials to pressure or even force mothers to abort a child if the birth hasn’t been approved by the state and is/or is the couple’s third. Chinese families are still not free to determine the size of their own families. Nor does this policy erase the enormous physical and psychological damage imposed on women done by three and a half decades of highly coercive birth limitations.
We should not be applauding China’s policy, we should be insisting they abolish all birth limits –forever.
Chen Guangcheng, the famous Chinese legal advocate, and human rights champion, calls China’s population control polices “genocide.” He calls for an international tribunal to vigorously investigate these crimes against humanity. And Mr. Chen calls on the Obama Administration to enforce existing U.S. law and bar Chinese officials associated with the policy from entry to the U.S – I wrote that law, and the Obama Administration has completely failed to enforce and implement its provisions.
The Chinese government is not the only one culpable in these heinous crimes against women and children. The UN Population Fund helped fund birth restrictions, fund forced abortions, and a massive and coercive family planning bureaucracy. Several years ago, I had a face to face meeting in Beijing with Peng Peiyun, the bureaucrat in charge of China’s draconian population program. Madame Peng repeatedly told me that my concerns were unfounded and repeatedly said that UNFPA found no coercion whatsoever – a complete whitewash.
The UNFPA whitewashed China’s crimes for decades and continues to do so today. On their website, the 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.”
Since 1994, the UNFPA claims that their efforts have focused on getting China to adopt a “rights based approach” to family planning, saying they opposed “coercion, violence, forced abortion, and sterilization as a violation of basic human rights.”
Yet, there is no evidence to show their efforts made one bit of difference in changing China’s policies. No evidence that UNFPA officials intervened to stop coercion and violence. For the past three and half decades, UNFPA funding gave China’s policies an international stamp of approval.
The UNFPA is complicit in China’s coercive population control policies. The U.S. and others who helped fund the UNFPA programs in China are also complicit. It is a dark and bloody stain that cannot be washed away.
I hope China will abolish all aspects of its horrendous birth control policy as soon as possible and compensate its victims. For me and many others opposed to this policy, it is a matter of justice and human rights. For the Chinese government, this is a matter of economic survival.
China’s government says it is instituting a “Two-Child Policy” to stem the twin demographic time bombs of a rapidly aging population and millions of men unable to find wives, but this new policy is unlikely to solve these problems.
As the Economist has noted, by 2025, nearly 1 in 4 Chinese citizens will be over the age of 60. At the same time, China’s working-age population has shrunk in each of the past three years. These factors are likely to hurt not only government balance sheets but also economic growth in China. This should be of particular concern to the Chinese Communist Party, as economic growth is the primary source of their ill begotten legitimacy.
The minimal policy change announced in October will do little to address the three decade decimation of female population. Approximately 40 million women and girls – perhaps millions more – are missing from the population—a policy that can only be accurately described as gendercide. The extermination of the girl child in society simply because she happens to be a girl.
The lack of girls has led to a dramatically skewed gender ratio. An estimated 30 million young men who will be unable to find wives in the coming decades.
The Chinese government should be concerned—as should China’s neighbors and the international community—of the consequences of 30 million men, unable to find companionship, unable to start families, and coming of age precisely at the time that China’s economy is creating fewer jobs to employ them. That is a ticking time bomb with the potential of dramatic consequences.
We continue to see increased human trafficking for forced marriages and sexual slavery. NGOs [Non-Governmental Organizations] working in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Burma have all reported an increase in trafficking of women and girls into China in recent years. Even if China ends its birth restrictions, given the current demographics, this problem of a shortage of women in China will only get worse in the coming decade.
In the long line of Chinese Communist Party mistakes, the brutal enforcement of population control may be one of the deadliest and most hated. The “Two-Child Policy” recently announced does little to fundamentally change the past and should not be celebrated.
The international community, led by the U.S., must insist that China abolish all birth restrictions, dismantle its family planning apparatus, compensate the victims of forced abortions and sterilizations, raise the legal and inheritance status of girls, and permanently close a dark and deadly chapter in Chinese history.