China's brutal "One Child Policy" and its gross violations of human rights, particularly those of women, was the focus of human rights activists testifying before the House on Thursday.
Congressman Chris Smith, chairman of the House subcommittee that oversees human rights and chairman of the Congressional-Executive China Commission, held a hearing entitled "China's One-Child Policy: The Government's Massive Crime Against Women and Unborn Babies."
"Women bare the major brunt of the one child policy not only as mothers," Smith said. "Due to the male preference in China's society and the limitation of the family size to one child, the policy has directly contributed to what is accurately described as gendercide--the deliberate extermination of a girl--born or unborn--simply because she happens to be female. As a result of the Chinese government's barbaric attack on mothers and their children, there are some 100 million more males than females in China today. It has been noted that the three most dangerous words in China today are: "it's a girl!" (click here to read Chairman Smith's opening remarks).
Witnesses testified about China's harsh population control program. Smith called China's one child policy "cruel and barbaric" noting that pregnant women without birth permits are hunted down and that there are no single moms in China.
"In the next two to three decades, we are likely to see observable security ramifications of the masculinization of China's young adult population, especially when combined with an understanding of the consequences of global aging, the particularities of Chinese nationalism, and the epidemiology of pandemics such as AIDS," said witness Valerie Hudson, author of the book "Bare Branches.". "Indeed, some of these ramifications are already coming into view. China's contempt for its daughters may lead to a more dangerous world not only for the Chinese themselves, but for everyone." Click here to read testimony of Prof. Valerie Hudson.
Witness Ji Yeqing, who had one daughter and whose husband's family strongly desired a son, told the subcommittee that Chinese government agents visited her and told her Chinese law decreed that the second child was forbidden.
"Even if it was born, the child could not be registered and would not be able to attend school," she said. "More than the fines, we would be fired from our jobs with a child that would never be registered by the census. But this time we were not afraid. We were willing to take the punishment of fines and losing our jobs. It wasn't as important to us as our child." Click here to read the tragic testimony of Ji Yeqing, victim of the One Child Policy.
Chai Ling, former student leader at Tiananmen Square, founder of All Girls Allowed, decried the brutal population control methods the government imposes on women, especially single pregnant women.
"It is an insidious policy causing the society to immediately demand an abortion for any woman without a birth permit, married or not," Chai said. "To refuse would be illegal but most unmarried women like me don't even dare to ask and certainly don't tell others about it but silently suffer in a country with the highest female suicide rate in the world, 500 women a day every day." Click here to read the moving testimony of Chai Ling, another victim of the One Child Policy.
Another witness reminded the subcommittee that human rights activist Chen Guangchen, one of Time Magazine's 2006 Top 100 People Who Shape Our World and winner of the the 2007 Magsaysay award, known as Asia's Nobel Prize, was imprisoned and remains under house arrest to this date for his work on reporting about the population control program.
"Blind activist Chen Guangcheng was arrested in 2006 for helping to expose the Chinese government's use of forced sterilization and abortions to enforce its One Child Policy," said Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women's Rights Without Frontiers. "He amassed evidence that 130,000 forced abortions and involuntary sterilizations were performed on women in Linyi County, Shandong Province in a single year. Click here to read the testimony of Reggie Littlejohn.
Liu Ping, born in 1958 in Tianjin, China, came to the United States in 1999. She detailed how co-workers are coerced to report co-workers who become pregnant.
"Before coming to America, I worked in a state-owned textile factory in Tianjin," Liu said. "The majority of the workers in the factory were women, many of whom were also of reproductive age, so the Family Planning Policy was implemented especially strictly. I am simply one of these many women whose lives were destroyed by the policy." Click here to view the testimony and story of Ping Liu, victim of the One Child Policy.