Calling For More than a Statement

 

Yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden’s office issued a statement to clarify his recent words concerning China’s One-Child Policy:  "The Obama administration strongly opposes all aspects of China's coercive birth limitation policies, including forced abortion and sterilization… The vice president believes such practices are repugnant. He also pointed out, in China, that the policy is, as a practical matter, unsustainable. He was arguing against the one-child policy to a Chinese audience.”

 

The clarification came after top Republicans demanded  an explanation of Biden’s original statement, in which he said: "You have no safety net. Your policy has been one which I fully understand -- I'm not second-guessing -- of one child per family. " 

As founder of All Girls Allowed (www.allgirlsallowed.org), an organization devoted to restoring life, value and dignity to girls and mothers who are affected by China’s One-Child Policy, I am applaud this clarifying statement from the Vice President and thank God that the Administration opposes the exorbitant fines, severe beatings, and forced abortions and sterilizations that are performed on thousands of Chinese families every day—an ongoing Tiananmen massacre every hour.  Yet, more must be done.

The magnitude of the tragedy merits much more than a statement from Mr. Biden’s office.  In our work, we see the “repugnant” actions of China’s Family Planning Committee wreaking havoc on families each day—women whose homes are torn apart by planning officials (as punishment for “out of plan” children), parents whose lives are torn apart when their babies are taken away and sold by their own government,  and full-term fetuses whose limbs are torn apart during forced surgeries.  The Policy was originally intended to last 30 years, but it turns 31 this September with no end in sight.

 

Additionally, the Policy isn’t merely “unsustainable”.  It is a ticking bomb that is already affecting millions of Chinese and Americans. As Mr. Biden pointed out, there is no safety net. China has too few young, and too many old — 160 million people over the age of 60 (and this number grows daily).  We must realize that when China’s economy is affected, America’s economy will be deeply impacted. But what Mr. Biden did not mention is this: China has 37 million more men than women, a gender gap that has been shown by economists to be caused in large part by the Policy.  Historically, countries with a large male youth bulge attack other countries and experience domestic unrest.  This should be of utmost concern to our nation’s leaders, as China becomes a greater security threat to the U.S. China’s military spending has increased significantly each year, and just this past month, China successfully completed a test voyage of its first aircraft carrier.  Economically, economists have shown that Chinese single men save and spend less on foreign goods, thus causing a trade imbalance.  China has trillions of U.S. dollars in its foreign reserves, and this will not change with 37 million surplus men—and counting.

 

The response to Mr. Biden’s remarks leads to a question and a challenge.  The question: Where are the political left in this modern-day freedom movement?  Forced abortions and mass gendercide certainly call for action from both sides of the aisle.  The challenge:  End the cruel One-Child Policy.  The Obama Administration has yet to issue a clear call to end the Policy, which is harmful both to the Chinese and American people.

 

The political right is exposing the injustice, calling on leaders, and pushing a new bill to act on China’s repugnant policy.  The ”China Democracy Promotion Act of 2011” (H.R.2121), would give the President authority to deny entry into the U.S. of Chinese officials and individuals who participate in human rights abuses, including China’s coercive birth limitation policy.  The political left has been conspicuously silent.

 

Democrats, we know you also stand for justice.  We know that you love freedom, that you are willing to put aside differences and work alongside others to protect the oppressed.  We know that you believe women deserve a choice when it comes to their own bodies.  Where are you in this movement?  Will you stand alongside your fellow Americans to call for an end to the One-Child Policy?

 

While the Vice President’s retraction certainly clarifies the White House’s position on forced abortions and forced sterilizations, it still falls short of what is required—action.  Perhaps Mr. Biden was speaking with Secretary Clinton’s viewpoint in mind, that she won’t let human rights “interfere” with our relationship with China.  Or maybe the statement was meant to appease China, to pursue a so-called “peace in our time”.  Those are the words of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain after his visit to Nazi Germany, just prior to the Holocaust and World War II.  Whatever the reason, though the Vice President reportedly “argued against the One-Child Policy to a Chinese audience”, his message came across confusing and weak. We must and can do better.

 

On September 23,  All Girls Allowed, U.S. leaders, human rights groups and women’s organizations will gather on the One-Child Policy’s 31st anniversary.  We ask that leaders on the right and the left, pro-life and pro-choice, Members of Congress and the Administration attend this event on the Hill together to support H.R.2121 and to call for an end to this repugnant Policy.  When we come together, we will see change.

 




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