U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), co-chairman of the U.S. Commission on China, (CECC) and chairman of the House Foreign Affairs global human rights subcommittee, called China’s one child policy announced in 1979 state-sponsored violence against women and children—including and especially the girl child—and constitutes massive crimes against humanity. He made the remarks today as the keynote speaker at a Heritage Foundation event focused on the Chinese government’s brutal implementation of the policy.
“The Nuremberg Nazi war crimes tribunal properly construed forced abortion as a crime against humanity—nothing in human history compares to the magnitude of China’s more than 34-year assault on women and children,” said Smith, who has held almost 50 hearings on human rights violations in China. “Abortion is a weapon of mass destruction. Hundreds of millions of lives have been exterminated.”
Held to mark the International Day of the Girl Child on Oct. 11, the event was entitled “China’s One Child Policy: A Discussion on Valuing Women and Girls in the 21st Century.”
“Today in China, rather than being given maternal care, pregnant women without birth allowed permits are hunted down and forcibly aborted. They are mocked, belittled, humiliated and exploited. A mother has absolutely no right or legal standing to protect her unborn baby or herself from state sponsored violence,” he said. “There are no single moms in China—except those who somehow evade the family planning cadres and conceal their pregnancy. Beijing’s One Child Policy bans single moms from obtaining government permission to carry the child to term. For more than three decades, most brothers and sisters have been illegal.” Click here to read Smith’s speech.
According to a report released in 2012 by the Chinese Center for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC), there were a staggering 590 female suicides per day in China, the only country in the world where the female suicide rate is higher than the male. The Beijing Psychological Crisis Study and Prevention Center determined that in China the suicide rate for females is over three times higher than for males.
“The result of this policy is a nightmarish ‘brave new world’ with no precedent in human history, where women are psychologically wounded, the girl child the victim of sex-selective abortion, and most children grow up without brothers or sisters, aunts or uncles or cousins,” Smith said.
Four of Smith’s hearings focused on Chen Guangcheng—the blind, self-taught lawyer who defended women from the one child policy, but paid a heavy price for his work, including jail, beatings and torture.
“Guangcheng testified once in person and twice by phone from his confinement in a Chinese hospital after his heroic escape,” Smith said. “I know of no other person on Earth who has personally suffered so much for attempting to stop this cruelty to women. He is a hero.”
Smith also noted China is ground zero in Asia for human trafficking, a main point of the CECC’s 2014 report on human rights in China released today.
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Smith said that China should have not been taken off Tier 3 by the State Department’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report released earlier this year. The human trafficking problem in China is linked to severe gender imbalances and challenging conditions in bordering countries that lead to trafficking for sexual exploitation and forced marriage.
Smith is the author of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, the comprehensive landmark law to prevent trafficking, prosecute traffickers and protect victims from modern day slavery. One provision of the law requires an annual assessment of every country, the TIP report. Last year the TIP Report stated: “China’s birth limitation policy, coupled with a cultural preference for sons, creates a skewed sex ratio in China, which served as a key cause of trafficking of foreign women as brides for Chinese men and for forced prostitution.”
“I respectfully submit that not only is the Obama Administration turning a blind eye to the atrocities being committed under the one child policy, but it is even contributing financial support—contrary to U.S. law—to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). “Thirty years ago—on May 9, 1984—I authored the first amendment ever to a foreign aid bill to deny funding to organizations such as the UNFPA that are complicit with China’s forced abortion and involuntary sterilization policies,” Smith said. “For over three decades, the UNFPA has consistently heaped praise on China’s population control program and repeatedly urged other countries to embrace similar policies.”