Hu Jintao visit to US sparks reaction against China's one-child policy

By Marianne Medlin

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In reaction to the state visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao this week, human rights supporters argue that the U.S. government should urge an end to China's one-child policy.

Although the policy was initiated as a temporary measure, it continues today, often with brutal enforcement. 

Joseph Meaney, International Coordinator for pro-life organization Human Life International, called China's one-child policy "the greatest ongoing human tragedy of the last 30 years.”

In comments to EWTN News on Jan. 18, Meany explained that on an average day in China, 35,000 abortions take place – “most forced upon the mother by this cruel policy.”

Every day, he added, 500 women, “the vast majority suffering from Post Abortion Stress Syndrome,” will commit suicide.

The human rights advocate also recalled the 2009 Copenhagen United Nations climate conference where Zhao Baige, vice minister of China’s National Population and Family Planning Commission, regarded the prevention of 400 million births as a positive societal advancement for the country.

“This mass killing was presented as an environmental 'triumph',” Meaney said. 

The one-child policy, which marked its 30th anniversary last September, was established by Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in 1980 to contain communist China's population growth. It limits couples to one child with the threat of fines, pressure to abort a pregnancy, and even forced sterilization in the event of second or subsequent pregnancies.

In remarks to China Daily on Sept. 27, National Population and Family Planning Commission leader Li Bin lauded the one-child policy, saying the country would continue to uphold it. Over the past 30 years in China, 400 million births have been prevented.

"Historical change doesn't come easily, and I, on behalf of the National Population and Family Planning Commission, extend profound gratitude to all, the people in particular, for their support of the national course," Li Bin said.

"So we will stick to the family-planning policy in the coming decades," she added.

Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, decried the policy in light of President Hu's visit to the White House this week and criticized the current administration for failing to speak out effectively against it.

"As Hu Jintao is feted by President Obama, China continues to persecute Christians, lock up dissidents, and brutally enforce the one-child policy," Mosher wrote in a Jan. 19 e-mail.  

"Obama needs to publicly criticize Hu for these atrocities. Instead, he coddles the leader of the largest one-party dictatorship in the world."

Brandi Swindell, founder of Stanton Healthcare and Generation Life, also spoke out against the policy in light of President Jintao's Jan. 18 visit to the White House. She remarked that as a woman, she is “especially concerned with China's policy of forced abortion and gendercide.”

Swindell argued that “the women of China are treated as second class citizens with no say in their personal and private family decisions,” noting that “this gender discrimination opens up young girls to human and sex trafficking.”

"It is critical that President Obama take this historic opportunity to speak out in support of human rights and justice in China during the visit of President Hu,” Swindell said.  She added that she is “determined to be a voice for those who had no voice for themselves and to be a public witness against the oppression and brutality of the Chinese government against their own people.”

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