IMAGE: Feng Li/Getty Images AsiaPac
BEIJING—Li Xiaolin has lived a successful life by much of the world’s standards. Born to Li Peng, the fourth Premier of the People’s Republic of China, she enjoyed a prestigious education and career. In 2011, while CEO of China Power International Development, she was ranked #21 on Forbes’ 2011 list of Asian Women at the Top.
Despite her success, Ms. Li carries one heavy regret: having only one child.
“The thing I regret most in my life is this: if I could have had two children, that would have been good,” said Ms. Li this week in an interview with Chinese media outlet Da Gong.
Ms. Li’s comments quickly spread across Weibo, China’s top microblogging site. Her father, Li Peng, is well known for his leading role in ordering the Tiananmen Square massacre on June 4, 1989. Li Peng encouraged the government’s violent response to the peaceful student protesters that day, causing hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of deaths.
Ms. Li said her powerful father always pressured her to follow the One-Child Policy. According to Chinese media outlet Da Gong, “she absolutely could not make this mistake [of having more than one child]. Her father always told her that he was the leader of China, and if the leader’s children did not seriously carry out [the One-Child Policy], who would carry it out?”
For Ms. Li, protecting her father’s reputation carried a cost: the children she could have had. “This is the regret of many Chinese mothers,” she said. “We are the generation who sacrificed.”
This generation refers to the 900 million Chinese people under the jurisdiction of the One-Child Policy today and the billions it has affected since 1980. Countless women have suffered the unspeakable horrors of forced and coerced abortion, infanticide and human trafficking under the policy. Ms. Li may never have experienced these atrocities. But her public expression of deep regret shows that no wealth or prestige can silence the grief this policy causes for Chinese women.
All Girls Allowed prays that Ms. Li would be the first of many prominent Chinese people to express personal dissatisfaction with the policy. Each one who speaks out brings the One-Child Policy one step closer to its end. Furthermore, we challenge leaders like Li Peng to listen to their children. If leaders cannot listen to their own children’s concerns about the One-Child Policy, how can they hear the desperate cries of their nation against it?
Chai Ling, Founder of All Girls Allowed, says, “The Tiananmen Square massacre was a tragedy that the Chinese people will never forget. But under the One-Child Policy, there is a Tiananmen Square massacre happening every day. We pray in Jesus’ name that the world would see the suffering and death caused by the One-Child Policy.”
All Girls Allowed (http://www.allgirlsallowed.org) was founded by Chai Ling in 2010 with a mission to display the love of Jesus by restoring life, value and dignity to girls and mothers in China and to reveal the injustice of the One-Child Policy. “In Jesus’ Name, Simply Love Her.”