Human Rights Abuses In China

Millions Suffer While The Government Is Rewarded By The Clinton Administration

By Rep. Chris Smith


The following article contains the remarks of United States congressman Chris Smith in the House of Representatives advocating a law that was passed to allow Chinese refugees to enter the United States, who have suffered cruel abuses from the Chinese government. Representative Smith spoke out against the forced abortion and sterilization policy of the Chinese government towards women.

Some people may say that to print this speech is too political and inflammatory. Some of my Chinese friends are tired of hearing about human rights abuses in China, Some say that if we stand up and we speak out and we fight for principle, that we’ll be hurting Chinese people who are under oppression. But I don’t think so. Truth crushed to the ground will always rise again. Christianity was born out of the courage of those who had to stand before the tyrants of the Roman Empire in the face of threats greater than we’ll ever face. In this hour, we must stand for principles that will make our nation strong, principles that will make us free.

We cannot stand for any thing less than the Truth. When it comes to deciding whether we shall stand by the great principle that declares that all human beings are created equal and endowed by their Creator with the right to life, there is no choice for silence! The following are remarks by Rep. Christopher H. Smith in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, June 7, 1995. [He is addressing the Speaker of the House].

– Wang Jiapu


Mr. Speaker, two significant events marking the tragic human rights record of the People’s Republic of China must not be allowed to pass without this body pausing to remember the victims in China who are not allowed to speak out for themselves without fear of persecution, imprisonment, torture, and death. There are even those victims who will never have the opportunity to cry out for their lives.

On June 1, the Maternal and Infantile Health Care Law went into effect in the People’s Republic of China. This law, though titled a “health care” policy, is nothing short of Nazi-style eugenics policy added to an already oppressive, non-voluntary, coercive one-child-per-couple family planning policy being implemented in China.

China’s coercive population control policy is already well known and is a crime against women. Xiaorong Li, the vice-chair of Human Rights in China’s Executive Committee and a research fellow at the Institute of Philosophy and Public Policy at the University of Maryland recently wrote: “In assessing the population policy, the unfair burdens that women have been made to bear in recent history for mistaken national policies must not be ignored. If China faces a population crisis, is it just to make women (and children) primarily bear the cost of reducing birth rates?”

She goes on to note that 75 percent of urban women would like to have two children, but most settled for having one child to avoid losing subsidies, housing, medical care, retirement benefits, and even their jobs. Rural women seem to suffer more from pressures of all kinds to evade the quotas set by the policy and produce more, preferably male, babies. They alone have to endure abortions in the 7th and 8th months of pregnancy, use IUD’s, take the pill, get sterilized, bear the children, and suffer the health consequences of all these things. In most cases, they alone are punished for their extra-quota births, having to escape the harassment of family planning workers, lying about their pregnancies, and eluding the teams sent to take them for abortions and sterilizations.

The new law goes even further than setting quotas; it is aimed at ensuring that parents can have a perfect child, according to Sun Nianfu, senior obstetrician at Beijing’s Capital Hospital. To this end, the law prohibits marriage between people if one of them has a serious hereditary disease, which is medically deemed unsuitable for reproduction unless the couple would agree to take long lasting contraceptive measures or give up childbearing by undergoing tubal ligation. Further, the law indicates that when a woman is determined to be carrying a child that may have serious hereditary diseases or have a serious deformity, the pregnancy should be terminated.

What will this mean for the people of China? According to one report “couples discovered to have a genetic predisposition toward conditions like diabetes, mild retardation, or even rheumatoid arthritis could be forced by the government’s medical establishment to abort their child.” The law, so vague in its definition of serious diseases would allow the government and medical officials to determine in each case which people may get married, which couples may have children, which children may be born.

Three days after the eugenics law went into effect, on June 4, the world remembered the brave men and women who filled Tiananmen Square 6 years ago calling for democratic reform and greater freedoms. Tragically, that peaceful protest, watched by millions the world over, turned violent when the government ordered military troops into Tiananmen Square and opened fire on peaceful, unarmed citizens.

Hundreds were killed. The Chinese Government has never given an accounting of the exact number. More were rounded up and imprisoned. Many of these peaceful protesters remain in Chinese prison, many of them are imprisoned in labor camps, where they are forced to participate in China’s slave labor system, producing items exported to the United States under the administration’s tragic trade policy which sacrifices human lives and dignity on the altar of the dollar. On Friday the President once again renewed MFN [Most Favored Nation trade status] with China, while paying lip service to the human rights situation in China. While unborn children are being called undesirable, while women are forced to undergo coerced abortions and sterilizations, while hundreds of political dissidents are imprisoned and their voices silenced, the government which inflicts their horrors on the people is rewarded.

Mr. Speaker, fortunately there are others who have more integrity. And these people are paying a high price for standing up for human rights. Several appeals, signed by dozens of China’s leading intellectuals, have been issued calling for a commemoration of the Tiananmen Square victims and the release of those who are still detained for their participation in the peaceful protests.

Mr. Speaker, today the government of China enjoys most-favored-nation trade status with the United States. Government officials and the military are reaping the rewards of unlimited trade with our Nation while at the same time they trample the rights, dignity, and lives of millions of women and men in the name of population control and stability.

These victims of China’s human rights abuses must not be forgotten. Today I honor the forgotten women and men of China, who are victims of Nazi-like eugenic policies, who cannot choose the number and spacing of their children, whose bodies are violated, whose voices are silenced, but whose hopes and dreams remain alive.

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