Biden Voted Against Condemning China’s One-Child Policy

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 26, 2011   |   11:44AM   |   Beijing, China

The outpouring of outrage over Vice President Joe Biden’s failure to criticize China’s one-child, forced abortion policy is taking a new angle as an expert on the policy says he fully briefed Biden on it years ago.

But, first, Biden himself dismissed criticism of his one-child policy comments, according to a Los Angeles Times report.

“My point to them was it’s also not very wise economically,” he said. “When they talked about what is our long-term need to deal with entitlements …  I basically wanted to point out, ‘We ain’t got anything near the problem you have,'” he said, calling the policy “repugnant.”

He said he didn’t forcefully comdemn the policy because he wanted to avoid a “polemic debate” in public, but hinted he condemned it privately.

“So the Chinese had no illusions in my private conversations – even the public ones – [about] the policy,” he said.

Meanwhile, Steven Mosher, the president of the Population Research Institute, personally witnessed the one-child policy put in place in China decades ago and saw first-hand how family planning officials used forced abortions and sterilizations to respond to women and couples who violated the draconian policy. Mosher is credited with exposing the one-child policy and bringing international attention to it.

Mosher says some detractors say Biden made his comments that he “fully understands” the one-child-per-family policy and is not “second-guessing” it because he truly doesn’t appreciate the gravity of the human rights abuses that happen under it. However, Mosher disagrees and said in a statement that he provided Biden a lengthy analysis of the problems years ago.

“While serving as a Commissioner of the U.S. Commission on Broadcasting to China, I briefed then-Senator Biden on population control, Chinese style,” he said. “I know that Joe Biden ‘fully understands’ how women are arrested for the ‘crime’ of being pregnant, how they are incarcerated and browbeaten for this ‘crime,’ and how they are forced to undergo abortions and sterilizations. I know because I told him so.”

Mosher says, “The Vice President was clearly pandering to his Chinese hosts. This wasn’t ignorance and it wasn’t a gaffe. Biden wanted China’s communist leaders to know that he and the President he serves are more than willing to turn a blind eye to the atrocities committed in the name of the one-child policy. In other words, Joe Biden has perfected the kowtow.”

Biden has condemned the one-child policy in the past and, while a Delaware senator, in 2000, Biden called China’s one-child policy “beyond the pale” in a speech on the Senate floor. “No member of Congress condones the practice of coerced abortion in China or anyplace else,” he said, according to Delaware online.

Yet, Biden was one of 24 Democrats and 53 senators voting to defeat an amendment that year by then-Sen. Jessie Helms, a North Carolina Republican, for a non-binding resolution from the Senate condemning the one-child policy. He claims that doing so would jeopardize trade relations with the large Asian nation.

Yesterday, a spokeswoman for pro-abortion Vice-President Joe Biden may have attempted to walk back comments he made where he failed to criticize the one-child policy in China, but leading pro-life and human rights advocates say it’s not sufficient.

As reported, Kendra Barkoff told media outlets in an email that Biden and the Obama administration strongly oppose the policy — but the comments are a departure from Biden’s speech, in which he said he would “not second guess” the policy and “fully understands” why China would implement it.

“The Obama Administration strongly opposes all aspects of China’s coercive birth limitation policies, including forced abortion and sterilization,” Barkoff told the conservative news outlet. “The Vice President believes such practices are repugnant.”

That’s not good enough for Reggie Littlejohn, the president of the human rights group Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, which has worked directly to help the victims of the policy, who have suffered from forced abortions and sterilizations, home confinement and imprisonment, and loss of other rights and freedoms.

Littlejohn tells LifeNews the statement from the Biden spokeswoman is “progress” because it shows “the Obama administration has now publicly admitted it knows that forced abortion and forced sterilization are official “policies” of the Chinese Communist Party, not random acts carried out by overzealous officials.” However, she doesn’t think it’s the case that the Obama administration “strongly opposes” these practices.

“Actions speak louder than words. If the Obama administration “strongly opposes” forced abortion in China, then why did they restore funding to UNFPA,” she asks. The United Nations Family Planning agency has been found to be complicit in the one-child policy in China, yet the Obama administration renewed the taxpayer funding for the agency President George W. Bush revoked.

Speaker John Boehner, according to CNS News, has also responded to the Biden walk back and said it is not sufficient because of the UNFPA funding.

“Until these two basic actions have been taken, the effect of the Biden incident is that the perpetrators of the one-child policy – the people with the power and authority to reverse it, and end the forced sterilizations and coercive abortions the policy has spawned – have been given further reason to believe that the United States government does not object to the one-child policy and doesn’t mind if it continues,” he said.