In a speech today, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney delivered an address on foreign policy and national security at the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention in Reno, Nevada.
During the remarks, Romney took on China over its one-child policy that has resulted in massive human rights abuses such as forced abortions, forced sterilizations. The policy has been so bad that human rights attorney Chen Guangcheng was forced to flee the nation after years of imprisonment and home detention for speaking out on behalf of victims.
“We face another continuing challenge in a rising China,” Romney said during the speech. “China is attentive to the interests of its government – but it too often disregards the rights of its people. It is selective in the freedoms it allows; and, as with its one-child policy, it can be ruthless in crushing the freedoms it denies.”
“America cannot be neutral in the outcome there. We must clearly stand for the values of representative government, economic opportunity, and human rights,” he said.
Romney’s comments come just one day after new reports that a Chinese woman became the victim of a forced sterilization after she and her husband petitioned to receive the funds a court awarded in a lawsuit they filed.
Earlier this month, Chinese officials paid $11,000 to a woman forced to have an abortion seven months into her pregnancy, according to her attorney. The lawyer said the woman appreciated the financial compensation but said nothing would make up for the forced abortion and the taking of her baby’s life.
The forced abortion sparked international outrage as the picture of Feng Jianmei and the body of her aborted baby lying next to her in a hospital bed circulated the Internet.
According to multiple news reports, Zhang Kai, the lawyer for the woman and her husband, Deng Jiyuan, said the couple agreed to the settlement of 70,000 yuan, but that the couple faces “spiritual pain” that will endure a lifetime. The state-run Xinhua news agency said the money was meant to avoid any further legal entanglements over the abortion, adding, “The signing of the agreement means neither party should raise any question related to the issue again.”
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“Their child, at such a young age, was basically killed. If you pay such little money, it’s not enough,” he said, according to the Globe and Mail newspaper.
Feng was forced to have the abortion after the family was unable to pay the 40,000 yuan fine for violating China’s one-child policy and two local officials were reportedly fired over the forced abortion case.