China Defends Population Control Program, Says Forced Abortions a Myth

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 23, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

China Defends Population Control Program, Says Forced Abortions a Myth Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 23, 2004

Washington, DC ( — After criticism from U.S. lawmakers who held a hearing on human rights abuses associated with China’s coercive population control program, officials with the Asian nation are defending the policy and claim forced abortions do not occur.

On Tuesday, Chinese officials said that the population control program does not encourage abortions despite "strict birth controls."

At a news conference, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Liu Jianchao said it was "utterly unacceptable for some people in the United States" to "point the finger at China" while ignoring the positive outcomes from the program.

According to an Associated Press report, Liu said the population control programs were "necessary" to maintain China’s economic health.

"Our immense population has exerted great pressure on us and our economic development," Liu said, adding, "I think everyone understands the necessity and inevitability of our adopting the one-child policy."

Liu also claimed forced abortions were illegal in China, the AP report said, and he asked anyone with information on such occurrences to report it to authorities.

But, Liu’s claim doesn’t square with reality according to a number of experts who spoke at a hearing last week held by the House of Representatives.

Michael Kozak, a State Department assistant secretary, said the Chinese government instituted the one-child policy in the 1970s to slow population growth.

Sine then, Kozak explained, population control officials have enforced the policy by forcing women to have abortions, coercively sterilizing men and women, and engaging in other human rights abuses such as imprisoning and torturing offenders in forced-labor "reeducation" camps.

In September, a U.S. appeals court granted asylum to Xuan Wang and her husband after population control officials forced her to have two abortions. She fled China after officials told her should would be sterilized if she became pregnant again.

In March, a Chinese man won an asylum ruling after fleeing the country because he refused to turn in his wife after she became pregnant a second time. Kui Rong Ma said population control officials kidnapped and beat his father in an attempt to extort information from Ma.

The ploy worked and Ma’s wife submitted herself to a forced third-term abortion that left her health in jeopardy.

Rep. Chris Smith, a New Jersey Congressman, said that his committee has obtained "numerous credible forced abortion reports from impeccable sources, including human rights organizations like Amnesty International, journalists, former Chinese population control officials and, above all, from the women victims themselves."