China Population Now 1.3 Billion, Officials Tout Forced-Abortion Policies

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 6, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

China Population Now 1.3 Billion, Officials Tout Forced-Abortion Policies Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 6, 2005

Beijing, China ( — A baby boy born in China’s capital city has inched the population of the Asian country upward to 1.3 billion, the largest worldwide. Chinese officials used the occasion to tout their coercive one-child population control policies that involve forced abortions and human rights abuses.

According to the Xinhua News Agency, the official Chinese news agency, the baby was born to a father who works for Air China airlines and a mother who is employed by Shell China.

"I am the happiest guy in the world and my boy will be blessed all his life,” the father, Zhang Tong, told Xinhua.

Chinese officials touted the controversial policy and said that the 1.3 billion number would have been reached years ago if not for the coercive policy. The government credits the policy with helping to stabilize the country’s economy.

It said Chinese couples used to average 5.8 children and now have just 1.8 children.

But, to achieve those results, China has employed harsh policies that have stripped Chinese citizens of their basic rights.

Yesterday, reported on the case of Mao Hengfeng, a woman who has been sentenced to 18 months in a labor prison camp for her fifteen years-long battle with the Chinese government after she lost her job when she became pregnant a second time.

She was also coerced into having an abortion after officials claimed she would receive her old job as a result. Instead, she was jailed and has been beaten and tortured

Just weeks after a Congressional committee held hearing on Mao Hengfeng’s forced imprisonment, a human rights watchdog group says the woman, who has protested their population control policy, will remain in prison an additional three months.

Michael Kozak, a State Department assistant secretary, said Mao’s case highlights the problems in the Chinese system: coercion of abortion or sterilization, the use of forced labor camps, forced imprisonment, and the improper use of psychiatric hospitals and torture.

The one-child policy has also led to a significant gender imbalance and a shortage of younger Chinese who may not be able to support its elderly citizens.

China continues to face a staggeringly abnormal male-female ratio as Chinese families opt for abortions when ultrasounds reveal a girl baby.

Rural Chinese often kill newborn infant girls as men are preferred to work farms and carry on the family line.

The one-child policy has contributed to the stark gender imbalance in China, which, according to the 2000 census, was about 117 males to 100 females. For sometimes illegal second births, the national ratio was about 152 to 100.

Such figures led China’s Guizhou Province to prohibit some late-term abortions and to stop ultrasounds from being used for gender identification for nonmedical purposes in an attempt to stem the tide of sex-selection abortions.

The one child policy was imposed 30 years ago following a baby boom after World War II.