Critic decries China's 'inhumane' one-child policy on 30 year anniversary

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Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.)

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, the 30th anniversary of the one-child-policy in China, Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) decried the law, arguing that no “other government policy anywhere else in the world systematically punishes, abuses, and violates women so grossly as this.”

Congressman Smith, a Ranking Member of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China gave his remarks on Sept. 24 at the nation's capital alongside KE Cheng Ping, a Chinese woman forced by the Chinese government to undergo abortion; Harry Wu, former Chinese political prisoner and president of the Laogai Research Foundation; Chai Ling President of All Girls Allowed, and Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers.

“Tomorrow, September 25, marks 30 years of the Chinese government’s infamous one-child-per-couple policy,” Rep. Smith began. “On that date in 1980 the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party sent an open letter to party members setting forth its plan to embark on a national one-child policy.”

“What came out of that letter? A cruel and inhumane policy, a human rights violation that is, in scope and seriousness, the worst human rights abuse in the world today,” Rep. Smith said. “No other government policy anywhere else in the world systematically punishes, abuses, and violates women so grossly as this.”

“The policy,” he noted, “requires all women to obtain a birth permit before becoming pregnant, and monitors the reproductive cycles of all women of childbearing age through a system of mandatory, regular, and crudely invasive physical check-ups.”

“Second,” he added, there are “brutal penalties for failing to comply. Women are put under extreme pressure to abort all 'out-of-plan' children – this is heightened by an atmosphere of fear, created by paying anonymous pregnancy informants, and by denying birth permits to co-workers and neighbors of women with an 'out-of-plan' pregnancy.”

“The brave pregnant woman who refuses to give in is usually detained and beaten – or, if she goes into hiding, her relatives are detained and beaten,” Rep. Smith added. “Families that succeed in hiding an 'out-of-plan' pregnancy are punished with fines up to ten times the average annual income.”

Another result of the one-child policy in a “culture with son-preference has been widespread sex-selective abortion of daughters – gendercide,” he said. “Over 120 boys are born for every 100 girls. In some provinces 140 boys are born for every 100 girls.”

“Tens of millions of Chinese men will never be able to marry because potential wives don’t exist.”

“Of course the one-child policy itself is violence against women on an unimaginable scale – over 500 million Chinese women are controlled, threatened, and violated in the most intimate aspect of their lives,” the New Jersey congressman lamented. “Even beyond this, local officials get raises and promotions based on their success in enforcing the policy – they get extra pay for overseeing forced abortions.”

“This is the world of the one-child policy,” he stated, “a system of repression that has been traumatizing hundreds of millions of Chinese women for thirty years.”

“It’s no wonder – and so sad – that Chinese women have a sky-high suicide rate – over 500 women commit suicide every day in China.”

In his concluding remarks, Rep. Smith said “I appeal to President Obama to speak out in defense of the Chinese people tomorrow, especially women and children, on this terrible anniversary – what an encouragement that would be for hundreds of millions of Chinese hearts, to suddenly feel that the leader of the free world understands and empathizes with their plight.”

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