By Hilary White

  LONDON, February 29, 2008 ( – Reports appearing yesterday in Reuters and the Guardian alleged that the Chinese government, worried about demographic trends, may begin “incrementally” to phase out its one-child policy, condemned for years by western observers for its use of forced abortion and sterilization. But the London-based Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, says the announcement is a ruse to secure more public support for the upcoming Beijing Olympics in the face of criticism of China’s human rights abuses.
  Vice Minister of the National Population and Family Planning Commission, Zhao Baige, told reporters in Beijing, “We want incrementally to have this change.” She said the government will “study” the issue “seriously and responsibly,” but still wanted to avoid any changes that might cause a sudden increase in the birth rate.
  Currently, according to 2007 statistics, China’s overall fertility rate stands at 1.75 children born per woman, well below the rate necessary to maintain a steady population. Recent news reports have said that the Chinese one child policy – which has been in place since the 1970’s and, despite recent changes to the law, still involves forced or coerced abortion and sterilizations – has caused a dangerous gender imbalance in a society that prefers boys to girl babies.
  Zhao claimed that the policy has been softened in recent years, saying, “Minority groups already have two children, even three, and in the cities like Shanghai and Beijing, a lot of only children are already released (to have two).
“But the most important is those in the middle like in Henan… nearly a hundred million people, but strongly influenced by the classical way, they want a son, and they are already very fragile environmentally,” she said.
  But the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) warns that the headlines, reading, “China could scrap its one-child policy” and “China considers ending one-child policy”, are more supposition than fact and that nothing in the minister’s comments directly suggests such a move.
  Anthony Ozimic, SPUC political secretary, said that the experts on China’s policy know that the Communist regime is in the habit of making “misleading statements about human rights” to mollify international opinion whenever the spotlight is on the country, as it is now in the run-up to the Olympics.
“Such statements” he said, “are intended for Western consumption only and specifically designed to mislead Westerners into wishful thinking that the regime’s crimes against humanity, such as the one-child policy, are coming to an end.”
“The false claim by the Guardian’s Tania Branigan that the one-child policy’s ‘enforcement’ system is far less punitive than in the 80s and early 90s’ is one such example of how the Chinese regime has been successful in planting such misinformation into the Western media,” Ozimic continued.
  SPUC Director John Smeaton, writing on the SPUC weblog, said that the Beijing Olympics are being criticised, with some Hollywood stars boycotting it for China’s failure to act against genocide in Darfur. But Smeaton said the event might as easily be called the “Forced Abortion Olympics”.
  Smeaton wrote of western governments “turning a blind eye to China’s appalling systematic attacks on the rights of unborn children, on women’s rights, and on the rights of families, with its inhuman one-child policy”.
  This ought not to be a surprise, however, because, “many western governments, including our own UK government, are complicit in the policy.” The UK, Smeaton points out, is the fourth highest financial backer of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) that has been heavily involved in the Chinese population control policy.

  Formost China expert Stephen Mosher has emphasized that the Chinese are committed to not only slowing their rate of population growth but to also cutting the current population in half. At a talk in Toronto in 2005 Mosher reported that the government is determined to follow all the way through on the recommendations of a government White Paper calling for its brutal policy to continue to about 2050 in order to reduce the country’s population to 600 million from its then current 1.2 billion level.

  Given that reality it appears highly dubious to experienced pro-life China observers that the Communists are now considering ending their one-child policy. They are seen to be more likely to become increasingly ruthless in the years ahead in order to meet the extraordinary target of shedding 600 million people from the Chinese population.
  Read related coverage:

China Labels Stanford Researcher “International spy” For Exposing Forced Abortion Policy

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