Is Vice President Biden Really Not “Second Guessing” the One-Child Policy?

 

This week, Vice President Joe Biden was in China. In remarks to Sichuan University, he said something many are now trying to understand: “Your policy has been one which I fully understand—I’m not second guessing—of one child perfamily.”  

 

As founder of All Girls Allowed, a non-profit focused on helping girls and mothers who have been victimized by China’s One-Child Policy, I am deeply troubled by the Vice President’s statement.  At best, it is a statement of ambiguity that gives permission to China to continue its brutal and coercive birth planning policy.  At worst, it is an endorsement of 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.  We are asking for clarification and calling for action from U.S leadership.


Consider the story of Wujian, who was dragged out of hiding while pregnant, had an 8-inch needle forcibly injected into her fetus, and whose 5-month-old fetus was then removed piece by piece by a doctor for China’s ruthless family planning police.  Another mother, Xiao Aiying, testified on video immediately following her own forced abortion—her 8-month-old dead fetus still in her stomach.  Readers can view that Al Jazeera report at http://www.allgirlsallowed.org/news/youtube-video-exposes-pain-china%E2%80%99s-one-child-policy.  Or consider the story of WangJiamei, whose second daughter was confiscated from her arm by family planning officials simply because she refused to submit to tubal ligation surgery.  Sadly, she is not alone, as the New York Times recently published an expose on the abduction of children by Chinese family planning officials.  (See http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/05/world/asia/05kidnapping.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2)


Rather than “fully understanding” the One-Child Policy, the Vice President should be calling for its end ahead of the Policy’s 31st anniversary next month.  The Chinese government originally promised it would last no longer than 30 years.  Rather than “fully understanding” the Policy, the White House should heed the cry of 400 million children—the number of lives that the Chinese government boasts it has prevented.  Rather than “fully understanding” the Policy, our administration should stand up on behalf of the 37 million Chinese girls who are missing as a result.  Rather than “fully understanding” the Policy, American officials should consider this:  If a rising China today does not have this basic respect of its own citizen’s lives, what will happen tomorrow when China becomes the world’s superpower?  President Obama and Vice President Biden should act now to stop this injustice and secure a more peaceful future for America.

 

If indeed it is the White House’s position to condone the One-Child Policy’s coercive enforcement, then our leaders are either ignorant of the cruel truth, spineless to confront the Chinese government, or cold-hearted to ignore the cries of thousands of mothers who have neither choice nor life.  But, if the Vice President’s statement was interpreted incorrectly, then we call on him and the White House to issue a statement clarifying their position and demanding an end to the One-Child Policy, not only on the grounds of its sustainability, but also on the grounds of its inhumane violation of basic women’s rights.  Vice President, please take advantage of this opportunity to not only clarify, but take action, and stand for justice in China.




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