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Babette Francis

China's earthquake tragedy  has highlighted  a series of inter-locking   dilemmas created by the nation's totalitarian one-child  policy. While Chinese repression in Tibet  attracted wide condemnation, including from   Hollywood celebrities  such as Richard Gere and Sharon Stone, little concern has been expressed  over the years about China's  policy of forced  abortions for  mothers who exceed the one-child quota. So many Western "intellectuals"   support  population control,  they  have  overlooked the barbaric means.

Death tolls from the Chinese quake   are  now  over  69,000. Sharon Stone speculates whether "karma" explains the tragedy because  the Chinese are "not nice to the Dalai Lama, who is a good friend of mine".   Bad karma does not explain the plight of  parents who, having lost their only child in the earthquake,  are now too old to have another.

Mothers  screamed  as rescue teams dug through the quake school rubble and brought out  bodies of  dead children, the only child for many of these mothers.  The cries  of these mothers echoed those of mothers over  the past 29 years subjected to forced abortions for having an unauthorised pregnancy. "One Extra Birth, Whole Family Sterilized," warns a  Chinese government propaganda poster.

The  Chengdu Population and Family Planning Committee in  Sichuan province states families whose only child has been  killed  in the earthquake can obtain a certificate to have another another  without  the heavy fines and deprivation of education and  benefits  associated with a second child.  If a couple’s 'legally' born child was killed  an ‘illegal child’ under 18 years could be registered as a legal replacement. If the dead child was ‘illegal’ the family
would no longer have to pay outstanding fines. How magnanimous of the government!    Beijing  will send a medical team to the earthquake zone to reverse sterilisation operations on parents who have lost children. The team will provide "technological" support, including IVF, for those wanting  another child.

Gender Imbalance

A growing gender imbalance among Chinese children is another  legacy of China's one-child policy.  According to China Daily, 118 Chinese boys were born for every 100 Chinese girls last year.  The  natural  ratio is 106 boys per l00 girls.    The 118-100 Chinese split is just for births and doesn't account for the far greater number of girls than boys who are allowed to starve to death as children, or who are sent  to ill-managed  orphanages:  95% of Chinese
orphans are girls.  In prosperous Guangdong province  the ratio  is  130 boys per 100 girls, proving  financial hardship is not the cause of this phenomenon.  UNICEF estimates  there are only 832 girls per 1,000 boys in China, making the world's largest country  its most sex-imbalanced.  There will be no wives for thirty million Chinese men because  of  "missing" girls.

Plight of the elderly

The elderly of China's earthquake  region may  be the biggest losers  as their surviving children, often  working far away, concentrate on rebuilding their own lives. Nearly 32,000 elderly Chinese lost  relatives in the May  earthquake, compared to  8000 orphaned children, most of whom have  been reunited with relatives. Confucianism is strong on reverence for age, but three decades of the one-child policy  have  weakened family bonds,  and the population is
becoming top-heavy with older people.

"The whole cultural tradition of Confucianism is being hit by an old-age tsunami," says
demographer Nicholas Eberstadt. "It was easy to imagine filial piety and veneration of older
people when they were a scarce commodity, but they're becoming really plentiful, and in the
eyes of many, perhaps even a burden. There are more than 100 million Chinese over 65 today, a number that will approach a quarter of a billion by 2030.  The number of women with no sons, now about 10 to 15 per cent of the population, is expected to grow to 30 per cent by 2025. China is going to be the poorest old society we've ever seen".

Government officials have promised  all elderly left homeless by the quake will be given food and shelter.   Some  elderly "orphans" would prefer to be adopted by a family, but one official said while the adoption hotline for children  rang day and night  there was only  one call  about adopting an older person.

Religious freedom  abuses include  nine  House Church leaders  and two Bible teachers  detained for helping quake victims.   The Chinese government  used the charge of "illegal business operation" against   believers who either managed bookstores or printed Bibles.  "The House Churches deserve the right to do charitable work such as providing relief to earthquake victims," said China Aid Association AA President Bob Fu. "We urge the Henan
government to change its backward mentality of discriminating against those who  do good deeds."

Slave labor camps

Steven Mosher, President, Population Research Institute,  said   "Twenty thousand people have been arrested  for protesting the destruction of their homes  [for the  creation of the Olympic village] "and  have been added to the  estimated  10 million people  enslaved in Chinese labor  camps" (known as Laogai).

Soccer stadiums in China are used for public executions. Mosher  claims  about  10,000 
people are publicly executed in China every year and after the Olympic athletes, journalists and "cheering crowds" have gone home, the new stadiums  will become "execution fields."

In its April report Amnesty International  stated   hopes were fading  the Beijing Olympics may lead China to reform: "It is increasingly clear  much of the current wave of repression is occurring not IN SPITE OF the Olympics, but  BECAUSE OF the Olympics."




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