Tuesday,September 28, 2010
One-Child Policy in China: No End in Sight
By Matthew Robertson
Epoch Times StaffCreated:Sep 28, 2010LastUpdated: Sep 28, 2010
Related articles: China > Democracy and Human Rights
One-Child Policy Victim: Ke Chengping (R),a woman from Shanghai,was forced to have an abortion and be
sterilized as a resultof the Chinese regime's one-child policy.(Lisa Fan/The Epoch Times)
As the one-child policyin China approached its 30-year anniversaryon Sept. 25, an internal debate could be seen
playing out in the Chinese media:was the policy a good or bad thing for the country? Should or should itnot be
That was put to rest over the weekend,when population czar Li Bin gave the one-child policythe Chinese Communist
Party's stamp ofapproval by thanking the people of China “for their supportofthe national course.”
“So we will stick to the family-planning policyin the coming decades,” she said.
For Reggie Littlejohn,the announcementthatthe policy would continue came as no surprise.
Littlejohn is presidentofthe NGO Women’s Rights WithoutFrontiers and a longtime campaigner againstthe policy, in
particular againstthe often coercive and cruel means used to forcefully implementit.
“It…confirm[ed]what I've said all along—China will stick with its One Child Policy for the indefinite future," Littlejohn
wrote in an email to The Epoch Times.
“I mentioned atthe time, and I continue to believe, that the Chinese governmentstrategicallyfloated the rumor that
China is loosening up on the policy to coincide with the release ofChen Guangcheng and his continuing house
arrest,in order to distractfrom that situation.”
Chen Guangcheng is a blind activist who campaigned on behalf ofwomen who were forcefully sterilized and had their
children forcefully aborted.After years of harassmenthe was putthrough a kangaroo court and jailed for four years.
On Sept. 8 he was released after serving the sentence,and then put under house arrest.
Prior to the announcementto continue the policy, Xinhua, the official news agencyof the Chinese CommunistParty
(CCP), published a piece thatlavished praise on the one-child policy. It stated that the Central Committee’s letter
announcing the policy30 years ago “became a milestone in China’s population control and birth control,” and that the
birth control policy “effectively curbed the overly rapid population growth,and in turn promoted economic
development,societal progress and improvementofpeople’s livelihood.”
The People’s Daily,another state mouthpiece,struck a different tone, arguing that China’s population growth is facing
an unprecedentedlycomplexsituation.It said the country’s population remains huge,its demographic profile needs to
be improved,and the gender ratio of newborns is highlyunbalanced.
One-Child Policy Crusader:US Congressman Chris Smith holds a press conference in frontof the Capitol building in
Washington,DC,criticizing the one-child policy,on September 24,2010.(Lisa Fan/The Epoch Times)
Reflecting on Damage Done
The 30-year anniversaryof the one-child policywas an opportunity for foreign observers to look back at the legacy it
has wroughtover the years.
On Sept. 24, outside the Capitol building in Washington,D.C., Congressman Chris Smith led a news conference to
Congressman Smith described itas “a cruel and inhumane policy,a human rights violation that is,in scope and
seriousness,the worsthuman rights abuse in the world today.”
Ke Chengping,a woman from Shanghai and victim of the policy, spoke at the event. During her factory’s annual
physical exam, Ke had found that she was pregnant.She had begged the staff at the Birth Control Office to allow her
to keep the baby, but instead she was immediatelyhospitalized for a forced abortion.
A doctor performed the operation with no anesthetic,and sterilized her via inserting a sterilization device without
seeking her permission.Ke said she was deeplytraumatized by the experience.
Apart from individual harm,the policy and its coercive implementation have created numerous social problems,critics
say. They point to the badly skewed ratio of males and females,the 500 female suicides in China per day, and the
rise in sex-trafficking because Chinese males lack female partners.
China's One-Child Policy Comes of Age
The Research of Assistant Professor Vanessa Fong
Harvard Graduate School of Education
September 1, 2004
by Leslie Brokaw
The Chinese government initiated an aggressive and experimental policy in 1979, requiring that urban families
limit themselves to one child each. This was a huge change: Chinese women averaged six births a piece in
1970, and parents traditionally relied on a large number of offspring to provide an economic security blanket.
The purpose of the initiative, says HGSE assistant professorVanessa Fong, was to help the country leapfrog
from a Third-World economy into the First-World economy by mimicking First-World fertility and education