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China Hearing Takes Place During Spring Recess

On April 19, the House International Relations Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations held a hearing on human rights violations in China to coincide with President Hu Jintao’s visit to the United States.

Chair Christopher Smith (R-NJ) was the only member in attendance at the hearing and called China “one of the very worst violators of human rights in the world,” pointing to its position on Internet censorship, religious freedom, minority persecution, labor rights, and family planning. He explained that “China’s one-child per couple policy, decreed in 1999, has killed hundreds of millions [of] babies by imposing Draconian fines up to ten times annual salaries on their parents to force them to abort…Sex selection abortions a direct consequence of allowing only one baby per couple, has led to gendercide approximately 100 million girls are missing in China. One Chinese demographer has admitted that by 2020, forty million Chinese men won’t be able to find wives because Beijing’s weapon of mass destruction population control destroyed the girls.”

Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, explained that China’s “technical policy on family planning…requires IUDs for women of childbearing age with one child, sterilization for couples with two children (usually performed on the woman), and abortions for women pregnant without authorization. By the mid-1980s, according to Chinese government statistics, birth-control surgeries abortions, sterilizations, and IUD insertions were averaging more than 30 million a year. Many, if not most, of these procedures were performed on women who submitted only under duress.” He also criticized a 2002 law that he says was intended to reassure foreign critics of China’s family planning practices by relaxing the one-child policy: “John Aird, the former head of the China branch of the U.S. Census Bureau, testified before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China that the law was actually ‘intended to increase the government’s control over child-bearing in order to reduce the numbers of births and hold down the rate of population growth.’ The law was just another instrument to be used by the Chinese government in its relentless war on women and their children, a war that some were eager to carry overseas” to Vietnam, Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

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