Friday, November 22, 2013

Contrary to Reports, China Is Not Ending It’s Brutal “One Child Only” Policy

Under the misleading headline “China to Ease One-Child Policy,” Xinhua News Agency reported last Friday that China will now lift the ban on a second child, if either parent is an only child. It is already the case that couples can have a second child if both parents are themselves only children. This minor adjustment will not “ease” the one-child policy. It will merely tweak it.

Indeed, in apparent response to quell overly optimistic speculation that this small change represents a major reform, Xinhua ran another report over the weekend: “Birth Policy Changes Are No Big Deal.” In this second article Xinhua states that Wang Pei’an, deputy director of the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), told Xinhua that “the number of couples covered by the new policy is not very large across the country.”…

He concluded that “the basic state policy of family planning will be adhered to over a long period of time.”

In other words, the minor modification of the policy announced Friday: 1) will not affect a large percentage of couples in China; 2) is not subject to a timetable in which to implement it; 3) retains the dreaded “birth intervals” between children (if a woman gets pregnant before the interval has lapsed, she may be subject to forced abortion); 4) makes no promise to end the coercive enforcement of the policy; and 5) promises to continue the one-child policy “over a long period of time” — which could be decades.

To say that China has “relaxed” or “eased” its one-child policy under these circumstances is entirely unwarranted. Furthermore, all the reasons given for this adjustment are economic or demographic:  China’s dwindling labor force, the country’s growing elderly population, and the severe gender imbalance. The adjustment is a tacit acknowledgement that continuation of the one-child policy will lead to economic and demographic disaster. The policy was originally instituted for economic reasons. It is ironic that through this very policy, China has written its own economic, demographic death sentence.

Noticeably absent from the Chinese Communist party’s announcement is any mention of human rights. Even though it will now allow some couples to have a second child, China has not promised to end forced abortion, forced sterilization, or forced contraception. The coercive enforcement of China’s one-child policy is its core…

…Last Friday the mainstream media ran such headlines as “China Reforms: One-child policy to be relaxed” and “China to ease One Child Policy.” Such headlines are detrimental to sincere efforts to stop forced abortion in China, because they imply that the one-child policy is no longer a problem. In a world laden with compassion fatigue, people are relieved to cross China’s one-child policy off of their list of things to worry about.

But we cannot do that. Let us not abandon the women of China, who continue to face forced abortion up to the ninth month of pregnancy. The one-child policy does not need to be adjusted. It needs to be abolished.

(From “China Hasn’t ‘Eased’ Its One-Child Policy” by Reggie Littlejohn, NRO)