September 25, 2014
Re: Open Letter to President Xi Jinping, 34th Anniversay of China’s One Child Policy
To President Xi Jinping:
Today is the 34th anniversary of the official institution of China’s barbaric One Child Policy, which has caused incalculable suffering to hundreds of millions of women and families of China. It is time for this policy to end. It will not work to replace it by a ‘two-child policy’ as some of your advisors may be suggesting. Rather, the One Child Policy should be eradicated from the face of the earth, because it has caused more violence toward women and girls than any other official policy on earth, and any other official policy in the history of the world. Your government has boasted that it has “prevented” more than 400 million births through this policy. These births have been prevented through forced abortions, involuntary sterilizations, confiscatory “terror fines,” gendercide and infanticide – all in violation of international human rights law.
The One Child Policy causes more violence against women and girls than any other official policy on earth.
The One Child Policy is China’s war on women. Any discussion of women’s rights, or human rights, would be a charade if forced abortion in China is not front and center. It does not matter whether you are pro-life or pro-choice on this issue. No one supports forced abortion, because it is not a choice. Here is a video in which former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, strongly condemns coercive family planning in China. http://www.womensrightswithoutfrontiers.org/index.php?nav=hillary_clinton
In the past year there has been much suffering caused by the One Child Policy. We are aware that the cases that make it to the West are just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. For every family that posts their experience of heartbreak on the internet – and thereby risks persecution by the Chinese Communist Party — there are thousands or millions who suffer silently. This year, we have seen a tragic rise in murder and suicide associated with the crushing “social compensation fees,” which can cost up to fourteen times a person’s annual salary, an amount the vast majority of Chinese citizens cannot afford. If the parents are unable to pay these “terror fines,” their children will be denied “hukou,” or household registration. Without hukou, children are ineligible for healthcare or education. They become illegal aliens in their own land. “Chinese Mother, fined $54,200 for Flouting One-child Policy, Sues Police.” http://www.voanews.com/content/reu-chinese-mother-fined-54200-one-child-policy-sues/1803992.html 12/5/13
- In Linyi City, Shandong Province – the hometown of blind activist Chen Guangcheng – a student at Linyi University gave birth to a baby girl in a University lavatory, left her baby stuffed down the toilet pipe, and fled the scene. A reported comment on social media site Weibo stated, “I find the image of a young woman giving birth in the loo, cleaning herself up and then going back to her room to carry on studying a particularly worrying one and a sign of the sort of throwaway society that we live in nowadays.” “Chinese baby girl abandoned in university lavatory by her mother is rescued.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/11105358/Chinese-baby-girl-abandoned-in-university-lavatory-by-her-mother-is-rescued.html
- In China’s Guangxi Region, a man stabbed to death two government workers after they told him he could not register his fourth child because he did not pay the “social compensation fee.” He injured four other workers, including severing the hand of one. “Crazed Chinese father-of-four stabs two government officials to death over one child policy.” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2376771/Chinese-father-kills-1-child-policy-officials-registering-4th-child.html 7/24/13. (Although this incident happened before August 1, 2013, it happened so close to the deadline that it was not included in our 2013 report, so we have included it here.)
- In Hunan Province, a husband demanded compensation from the Chinese government, claiming that his wife, Gong Qifeng, has suffered from schizophrenia and violent behavior since she was forcibly aborted at seven months in November, 2011. “Forced abortion at 7 Months – The Horror of China’s One Child Policy Sparks Further Outrage.” http://www.christianpost.com/news/forced-abortion-at-7-months-the-horror-of-chinas-one-child-policy-sparks-further-outrage-101764/ 8/7/13; “Chinese couple seeks damages for forced abortion.” http://www.worldmag.com/2014/01/chinese_couple_seeks_damages_for_forced_abortion 1/10/14
- In Shandong Province, Liu Xinwen was dragged out of her home in the middle of the night by 20 officials, who kicked down her door and restrained her husband. They forcibly aborted her, six months pregnant. “China Couple Speak of ‘Forced Abortion.’” http://news.sky.com/story/1150016/china-couple-speak-of-forced-abortion 10/4/13
- Ai Guangdong, a farmer in Hebei Province, killed himself by drinking pesticide during a dispute with family planning officials over fines for his over-quota children. Since the farmer did not have money to pay the fines, family planning officials confiscated 3.5 tons of corn, the entire savings of the family. Ai Guangdong then visited the home of the Party Chief to dispute this action. Finally the farmer drank pesticide at the home of the Party Chief, and promptly died. “Farmer drinks poison after being fined for violations of family planning policy.” http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/830847.shtml 12/8/13
- In Xinjiang Province, four Uyghur women were forcibly aborted, one of them at nine months. As ethnic minorities, Uyghurs are supposedly exempt from the One Child Policy. This is not the case. While they may have more than one child, they are nevertheless subject to coercive termination of out-of-plan pregnancies. “Four Uyghur Women Forced to Abort Their Babies in Zinjiang.” http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/abortion-12302013050902.html; “Xinjiang authorities try to force six women to abort for violating one-child policy.” http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Xinjiang-authorities-try-to-force-six-women-to-abort-for-violating-one-child-policy-29925.html. 12/30/13
- An obstetrician in Shaanxi province, Zhang Shuxia, was convicted of trafficking seven infants, after she had convinced their parents that the infants were seriously ill or deceased. She was given a suspended death sentence. It has been estimated that 70,000 children a year are trafficked in China. The doctor sold boys at a premium, costing more than twice as much as girls. “Obstetrician convicted in Chinese baby-trafficking case.” http://www.wnd.com/2014/01/obstetrician-convicted-in-chinese-baby-trafficking-case/ 1/16/14; “Chinese doctor sentenced to death for selling babies.” http://nypost.com/2014/01/14/chinese-doctor-sentenced-to-death-for-selling-babies/ 1/14/14
- In Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province, authorities stopped accepting new babies at a “baby hatch,” where parents can anonymously leave their unwanted children in an incubator. Parents overwhelmed the center by leaving 262 babies, many suffering from serious illnesses. China reportedly has 25 baby hatches in 10 provinces. “Chinese Baby Hatch Suspended After Parents Abandon Overwhelming Number of Children.” http://www.christianpost.com/news/chinese-baby-hatch-suspended-after-parents-abandon-overwhelming-number-of-children-116271/ 3/17/14
- Chinese authorities shut down an internet website where parents could “give” their children to adoptive parents directly in return for a “gratitude fee.” The authorities charged that the site operated without regulation or an intermediary and was connected to trafficking infants. “Chinese parents, trapped in one-child web, give babies away on Internet.” http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/30/us-china-adoptions-idUSBREA2T0L920140330 3/30/14.
- In Guizhou Province, a farmer and father of four committed suicide because he could not afford to pay the fines to enroll his children in school. His wife stated, “He said to me before he cut his wrists, ‘What did we bring them into the world for, to be as dumb as cattle? I cannot see my children grow up uneducated.’” After his death, the authorities provided the family with a new house and money to educate the children. “Chinese father of four commits suicide over one-child policy fines so his children can go to school.” http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/chinese-father-of-four-commits-suicide-over-one-child-policy-fines-so-his-c. 5/26/14
The One Child Policy Is the Driving Force Behind Gendercide in China; It Cannot Be Cured By Instituting a Two-Child Policy
According to one U.N. estimate, there are up to 200 million women missing in the world today due to sex selective abortion. Like these twins saved by our “Save a Girl” Campaign, millions of baby girls all over China are at risk of abortion or abandonment, simply because they are girls. “Twin Girls Saved from Abortion in China, Husband’s Family Only Wanted Boys.” http://www.lifenews.com/2014/05/30/twin-girls-saved-from-abortion-in-china-husband-family-told-wife-they-only-wanted-boys/ 5/30/14
In China, there are currently 117-118 boys born for every 100 girls born – the worst gender ratio in the world. Nor will the tweaking of the One Child Policy have a significant impact on gendercide. “Will the end of China’s One-Child Policy Shift its Boy-Girl Ratio?” http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/11/15/will-the-end-of-chinas-one-child-policy-shift-its-boy-girl-ratio/. 11/15/13; “One-Child Policy is One Big Problem for China.” http://www.newsweek.com/2014/01/24/one-child-policy-one-big-problem-china-245118.html. 1/24/14; “China’s Revised One Child Policy Still Enables Discrimination Against Girls.” http://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/1394011/chinas-revised-one-child-policy-still-enables-discrimination. 12/31/13
This astonishing gender imbalance can only be achieved through gendercide, the sex-selective abortion of baby girls. Instituting a two-child policy will not end gendercide. Indeed, areas in which two children currently are allowed are especially vulnerable to gendercide. According to the 2009 British Medical Journal study of 2005 national census data, in nine Chinese provinces, for “second order births” where the first child is a girl, 160 boys were born for every 100 girls. In two provinces, Jiangsu and Anhui, for the second child, there were 190 boys for every hundred girls born. This study stated, “Sex selective abortion accounts for almost all the excess males.” Because of this gendercide, there are an estimated 37 million Chinese men who will never marry because their future wives were terminated before they were born. This gender imbalance is a powerful, driving force behind trafficking in women and sexual slavery, not only in China, but in neighboring nations as well.
This message was at the core of my presentation at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in March, 2014. “China 1-Child Policy Warning Taken to U.N.” http://www.wnd.com/2014/03/china-1-child-policy-warning-taken-to-u-n/. 3/22/14;
China Has Not ‘Eased’ Coercive Population Control Under it’s One Child Policy
As you know, these atrocities continue to this day.
Under the misleading headline, “China to Ease One-Child Policy,” Xinhua News Agency reported that China will now lift the ban on a second child, if either parent is an only child. It is already the case that couples can have a second child if both parents are themselves only children. This minor adjustment will not “ease” the One Child Policy. It will merely tweak it.
Indeed, in apparent response to quell overly optimistic speculation that this small change represents a major reform, Xinhua ran another report soon after the original announcement: “Birth Policy Changes Are No Big Deal.” In this second article Xinhua states that Wang Pei’an, deputy director of the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), told Xinhua that “the number of couples covered by the new policy is not very large across the country.” “Birth policy changes are no big deal.” http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2013-11/16/c_132893477.htm. 11/16/13.
The minor modification of the policy that took place on January 1, 2014: 1) will not affect a large percentage of couples in China; 2) is not subject to a timetable in which to implement it; 3) retains the dreaded “birth intervals” between children (if a woman gets pregnant before the interval has lapsed, she may be subject to forced abortion); 4) makes no promise to end the coercive enforcement of the Policy; and 5) promises to continue the One Child Policy “over a long period of time” – which could be decades.
To say that China has “relaxed” or “eased” its One Child Policy under these circumstances is entirely unwarranted. “China’s One-Child Policy ‘Reform’ Won’t End Abuses: US Group.” http://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/policy-07232014161119.html. 7/23/14; “China Hasn’t ‘Eased’ Its One-Child Policy.” http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/364200/china-hasnt-eased-its-one-child-policy-reggie-littlejohn. 11/18/13; “China Not Easing One Child Policy, Says Campaigner.” http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/china-not-easing-one-child-policy-says-campaigner. 11/22/13; “Little Change in Practice for China’s One Child Family Policy.”http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/nov/24/little-change-in-practice-for-chinas-one-child-fam/?page=all. 11/24/13.
China’s One Child Policy Causes Sexual Slavery; China’s 2014 Promotion in the State Department’s TIP Report Is Baseless and Unwarranted.
In 2013, the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons or TIP Report downgraded China to a Tier 3 nation – a status it shared with Iran, Sudan and North Korea. Tier 3 nations may be subject to sanctions, if approved by the U.S. President. http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2013/
The 2013 TIP Report discussed how China’s One Child Policy, combined with son preference, has caused a gender imbalance that is driving human trafficking and sexual slavery, not only within China but from the surrounding countries as well. The Report lists the many nations from which women and girls are trafficked into China: “Women and children from neighboring Asian countries, including Burma, Vietnam, Laos, Singapore, Mongolia, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), as well as from Russia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas, are reportedly trafficked to China for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor.”
The 2013 TIP Report found that, despite the prevalence of human trafficking and sexual slavery, the Chinese government’s efforts at prevention fell below minimum standards. In fact, the Report found that many state-run institutions were complicit in the trafficking: “ . . . The Chinese government did not demonstrate significant efforts to comprehensively prohibit and punish all forms of trafficking and to prosecute traffickers. The government continued to perpetuate human trafficking in at least 320 state-run institutions, while helping victims of human trafficking in only seven.”
The 2013 TIP Report further criticized the Chinese government for failing to “address the effects its birth limitation policy had in creating a gender imbalance and fuelingtrafficking, particularly through bride trafficking and forced marriage.”
The 2014 TIP Report has promoted China from a ‘Tier 3’ to a ‘Tier 2 Watch List’ nation. The report appears to attribute this promotion to a technical modification of the One Child Policy:
The PRC government maintained efforts to prevent trafficking in persons. In November 2013, the government modified its birth limitation policy to allow families with one single-child parent to have a second child, a change that may affect future demand for prostitution and for foreign women as brides for Chinese men – both of which may be procured by force or coercion. TIP Report, p. 134.
The fact that the PRC government tweaked the One Child Policy does not signify that it ‘maintained efforts to prevent trafficking in persons.’ Allowing a relatively small number of families to have a second child will not end gendercide or sexual slavery in China. The selective abortion and abandonment of baby girls is most prevalent in the countryside, where couples already can have a second child if the first child is a girl. Even if the most recent modification were to improve gender ratios at birth, the impact on sexual slavery would not be felt for decades to come. What about all the women and girls who are being trafficked now? The TIP Report does not cite any effective new initiatives by the CCP to help current victims of sexual slavery. “Trafficking and Sexual Slavery – China’s Promotion in State Dept. Report Unwarranted.” http://www.womensrightswithoutfrontiers.org/blog/?p=1730 7/28/14
Women from surrounding countries are often victims of deception, promised a better life with a good job, and then forced into sexual slavery. “China’s one-child policy creates market for Cambodian brides.” http://www.ucanews.com/news/chinas-one-child-policy-creates-market-for-cambodian-brides/70749 4/22/14
Forced Abortion in China Is Linked to Breast Cancer in Women and Low Birth Weight, Increased Chance of Death in Subsequent Pregnancies.
TIANJIN, CHINA. A medical study from China has revealed an additional way in which women are victimized by the One-Child Policy: significantly increased risk of breast cancer.
Researchers in China have found that the dramatic rise in breast cancer in China is associated with the prevalence of induced abortions (IA) under the One-Child Policy. The study, conducted by a team of epidemiologists from Tianjin Medical University Cancer Hospital, analyzed data from over 36 different studies in both the United States and China. Their conclusion:
“IA [is] significantly associated with an increased risk of breast cancer among Chinese females, and the risk of breast cancer increases as the number of IA increases.” Specifically, the study found that one IA increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer by 44 percent, two by 76 percent, and three by 89 percent.
The study notes that historically, China has had low breast cancer rates when compared with Western nations, but “the incidence of breast cancer in China ha[s] increased at an alarming rate over the past two decades.” The study notes that this rise “was paralleled to the one-child-per-family policy.”
In our view, the strong association of abortion and breast cancer established by this study brings the women’s rights violations under the One Child Policy to a new level: a woman pregnant in China without a birth permit is subjected to both government imposed forced abortion, and also breast cancer as a result of it. Where abortion is forced, the subsequent development of breast cancer becomes a violation of women’s rights in itself. “China: One-Child Policy Linked to Breast Cancer – Study.” http://www.womensrightswithoutfrontiers.org/blog/?p=1428. 12/2/13
Forced Abortion in China Correlates with Low Birth Weight, Increased Chance of Death in Subsequent Pregnancies
A 2012 dissertation submitted to the University of Hong Kong found that children in China are more likely to face serious health complications, including death, if their mothers have had multiple induced abortions. The study concluded that having more than one abortion increases the risk of low birth weight in subsequent pregnancies. Indeed, women who have had three or more induced abortions are at five times the risk of preterm birth in a subsequent pregnancy.
The study, conducted by Cui Limin, explained that nearly two thirds of neonatal deaths are related to low birth weight. For children surviving infancy, LBW increases the risk of neuron-developmental problems, respiratory tract infections, and behavioral problems. According to the study, those with very LBW suffer from conditions including cerebral palsy, blindness, impaired hearing and learning disabilities. Besides harming the child, these health problems put extra financial strain on parents, the study noted.
Women in China are forced into induced-labor abortions, up to the ninth month of pregnancy. In our view, this is a violation of women’s rights of the first degree. We are now learning that these forced abortions also put their future children at risk for respiratory complications, cerebral palsy, and even death related to low birth weight. They also may damage a woman’s future reproductive and general health. This is a violation of the women’s rights and the rights of their future children. Forced abortion must be stopped, and families should be compensated if their children experience health problems caused by previous induced labor forced abortions.
According to the study, 14.37 million induced abortions were performed in 2012 – one quarter of the abortions in the world — many of which were repeat abortions. The study credited the One-Child Policy as “one of the most important factors for the increased induced abortion rate,” and cited the prevalence of forced and sex-selective abortions in China.”
The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women’s “Agreed Conclusions” for 2013 Condemn Coercive Family Planning
World opinion stands against China’s coercive family planning. The UNCSW’s topic for 2013 was “Elimination and Prevention of All Forms of Violence Against Women and Girls.” There is no greater violence against women than forced abortion, up to the ninth month of pregnancy. Women themselves sometimes die as a result of these violent procedures. There is no greater violence against girls than gendercide, which has claimed up to 200 million lives of girls selected for abortion solely because they are girls.
Women’s Rights Without Frontiers made four presentations about forced abortion and gendercide in China at the UNCSW in March of last year. We commend the following language from 2013’s “Agreed Conclusions”:
- The Commission urges government, at all levels, and as appropriate, with the relevant entities of the United Nations system, international and regional organizations . . . to take the following actions:
. . . .
(aaa) Condemn and take action to prevent violence against women and girls in health-care settings, including . . . forced medical procedures, or those conducted without informed consent, and which may be irreversible, such as forced hysterectomy, forced caesarean section, forced sterilization, forced abortion, and forced use of contraceptives . . .
These Agreed Conclusions represent an acknowledgement that forced medical procedures are a form of violence against women and call for an international condemnation of such procedures. WRWF feels that the voices of hundreds of millions of suffering Chinese women and girls were heard by the UNCSW, and for this we are grateful.
The Chinese government, moreover, is the major perpetrator in the world of “forced medical procedures” of the kind set forth in the UNCSW Agreed Conclusions. The UNCSW should put teeth into its Agreed Conclusions by presenting this Complaint to the Chinese government and requiring a response.
WRWF Calls for an Investigation of UNFPA
The UNCSW, moreover, should follow its own advice to “condemn and take action to prevent violence against women . . .” by thoroughly investigating the activities of the UNFPA in China. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell found the UNFPA to be complicit with coercive family planning in China. WRWF believes that any independent investigation of the UNFPA’s current practices would arrive at the same conclusion.
The UNCSW would not be the first to undertake such an investigation. In a striking blow against China’s One Child Policy, the European Parliament passed a resolution strongly condemning forced abortion and involuntary sterilization in China and globally, citing Feng Jianmei, who was forcibly aborted at seven months in June, 2012. Specifically, the resolution, 2012/2712 (RSP) “strongly condemns the decision to force Ms. Feng to have an abortion and condemns the practice of forced abortions and sterilizations globally, especially in the context of the one-child policy.” The resolution further states that “the EU has provided, and still provides, funds for organizations involved in family planning policies in China,” and “urges the Commission to ensure that its funding of projects does not breach” the European Parliament’s commitment against coercive population control.
It is significant that the European Parliament has acknowledged that it provides funding for family planning in China and has urged the Commission to ensure that this funding is not associated with coercion. For decades, the UNFPA has worked hand in hand with the Chinese population control machine, which is coercive. We have no doubt that any unbiased investigation by the European Parliament, the United Nations, or any other governmental body will reveal that UNFPA is complicit with coercive family planning in China. The UNCSW should likewise undertake such an investigation.
We have called for an investigation of UNFPA repeatedly in the past. This call has been ignored. The time to investigate UNFPA is now.
The Chinese Government Persecutes the Children of Dissidents
On a personal note, this report would not be complete without including the story of Anni Zhang, daughter of celebrated pro-democracy activist Zhang Lin. The Chinese government has detained Zhang Lin on and off for more than 13 years since the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. At one point he was tortured nearly to death and and was confined to a wheelchair. When the Chinese Communist Party could not silence Zhang Lin by persecuting him directly, they resorted to persecuting his 10-year-old daughter Anni. Anni was called into the principal’s office at her elementary school one day in April 2013, and from there was whisked away by four unidentified men who detained her overnight, cold, hungry and frightened. She was then denied the right to attend school. She and her father were placed under house arrest for months. They escaped and became fugitives. When they were caught, they reached out to Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, asking us to get Anni out of China. My husband and I offered to raise her as our own daughter. With the help of many brave souls in China, several of whom remain in detention to this day, as well as Jing Zhang, President of Women’s Rights in China and Rep. Christopher Smith, we were able to secure safe passage for Anni and her sister Ruli to come to the United States.
It was only after Anni arrived and had been living in our home for months that we discovered that she is a survivor of the One Child Policy. Family planning police had severely harassed her mother, trying to force her to abort Anni. Her parents held firm despite extreme pressure and Anni was born. Every day I am reminded by my beautiful Chinese daughter of the immeasurable loss of every baby forcibly aborted and every girl selectively aborted under China’s One Child Policy. Anni has turned out to be something of a prodigy on the piano. Her brave father, Zhang Lin, remains in prison to this day. “China’s youngest detainee decries torture of father.” http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/chinas-youngest-detainee-decries-torture-of-father/. 5/8/14; “Daughter of Chinese Activist Arrives in US to Begin New Life.” http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/281475-daughter-of-chinese-activist-arrives-in-us-to-begin-new-life/. 8/8/13; “Sisters beg presidents for dad’s freedom.” http://www.wnd.com/2013/12/sisters-beg-presidents-for-dads-freedom/. 12/17/13.
Forced Abortion Is Official Government Rape
The Chinese forced abortion policy is systematic, institutionalized violence against women. Because of the sheer numbers involved, it is the most massive women’s rights issue in the world today, and it must be stopped.
President Xi Jinping, you are uniquely positioned to end the greatest human rights atrocity on earth today. Since you are able to accomplish this, you are morally obligated to do so. Let this be the legacy of your presidency: to transform Chinese law and culture so that women can truly “hold up half the sky.”
 Read the Study: The Effect of Induced Abortion on the Risk of Low Birth Weight, Cui Limin http://hub.hku.hk/bitstream/10722/183648/1/FullText.pdf?accept=1
 Agreed conclusions on the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls, UNCSW 2013, pp. 5, 14. http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/csw57/CSW57_Agreed_Conclusions_%28CSW_report_excerpt%29.pdf