First Lady Michelle Obama has an opportunity to address human rights abuses associated with China’s one-child policy on her upcoming trip to the Asian nation. However, reports out today indicate she is expected to ignore the massive problems of forced abortions, infanticides and coercive sterilizations while she and the first family are there.
Obama, off to China on March 19, will not address any of those issues, according to Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes.
“We don’t think that the first lady should make this a focus at all of her trip,” Rhodes said. “This is a very different purpose. This is the purpose, again, of building those people-to-people connections; of reaching out to young people in China, broadening the ties between our two countries. So we’ll continue to raise those issues in all of our diplomatic contacts with the Chinese. I think the first lady’s message and I think her — the nature of her visit is quite different.”
Rhodes told the conference call that Mrs. Obama’s visit to China will “focus on people-to-people relations” as well as education and “youth empowerment.”
He noted that Mrs. Obama had planned the trip long before the Dalai Lama visited President Obama at the White House, so her trip was not planned to soften China’s anger over that event. “This type of visit takes a long time to plan, and I think the First Lady has been looking for an opportunity to go to China,” Rhodes said.
That Obama will ignore forced abortions and the one-child policy is no surprise given that President Obama hasn’t done much of anything to address the problems during his term. The Obama administration admitted that the one-child policy has resulted in more sex trafficking but refused to condemn the force abortion policy.
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Vice President Joe Biden was heavily criticized for seeming to condone Chinese-style population control. Answering a question about the one-child policy, he seemed to go out of his way to be noncritical, saying that he “fully understands” the one-child-per-family policy and was not “second-guessing” it.
For her part, Michelle Obama is strongly supportive of abortion — meeting with leaders of the Planned Parenthood abortion business and supporting Barack Obama’s position against a ban on partial-birth abortions.