WASHINGTON – The Bush administration yesterday announced it will withhold a $34 million payment from the United Nations Population Fund to China over the issue of forced abortions.
The Communist government of China maintains, at least in some areas of the country, a one-child policy sometimes enforced through a policy of forced abortions. It is believed China performs some 10 million involuntary abortions a year.
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the U.S. is the world’s largest donor to health programs for women and children, to the tune of $1.8 billion this year, of which over $400 million is for reproductive health and family planning. As WND has reported, the abortions disproportionately affect female babies.
Facing a critical shortage of women that could leave millions of men without wives, China is trying to convince its populace of the value of girls, who have been systematically killed during birth or after as a result of the one-child limit on most families.
Beijing has developed a five-year plan to correct the alarming disparity in the numbers of males and females in the country.
The government is promoting what it calls “Girl Care Project” – teaching rural families to value daughters as much as sons – and strengthening the social welfare system, especially in rural areas, said Zhao Baige, a vice-minister of the State Population and Family Planning Commission.
She said Beijing was committed to bringing the sex ratio, which now sees 117 boys born for every 100 girls, back in line with international standards. The world average is 107 boys to 100 girls.
Only seven mainland provinces come close to matching the world’s average, with fewer than 110 boys against 100 girls. Some have 130 boys for every 100 girls.
Experts have warned that if the problem is not corrected soon, China will face dire social problems, with millions of men unable to find wives. The imbalance will also aggravate the problem of an aging population in the future.
Five years ago, each retiree in China was supported by 10 workers. By 2020 this ratio will have fallen to one to six, and by 2050 to one to three.
China’s population grew at an estimated average rate of 1 percent a year between 1991 and 2002. It was then officially estimated at 1.28 billion, though this may be a significant underestimate. Under-reporting of births has become common since the government’s strict one-child family policy was introduced in 1980.
The birth rate fell from 37 per 1,000 people in 1952 to 12.9 per 1,000 in 2002. The death rate fell from 17 per 1,000 in the early years of the People’s Republic of China to 6.4 per 1,000 in 2002.
This shortage of workers to support an aging population including more and more retirees will cause an economic crisis in China, say analysts.
In addition, to an aging population, China increasingly is developing a population dominated by males. This, too, is a direct offshoot of the one-child policy, which has resulted in the “disappearance” of millions of girls – most of whom are assumed to have been killed at birth or shortly afterward, while others were the victims of sex-selection abortion procedures. Many other young girls are put up for foreign adoption. Two-thirds of Chinese children put up for adoption are female.
As first reported in WND in September 1997, the World Health Organization released a report at WHO’s Regional Committee for the Western Pacific that said more than 50 million women were estimated to be “missing” in China because of the institutionalized killing and neglect of girls due to Beijing’s population control program that limits parents to one child.
Many of the girls were killed while still in the womb – the victims of ultrasound technology that revealed the baby’s sex. Others, WHO said, were starved to death after birth, the victims of violence or were not treated when they became ill.
The report’s statistics showed that in 1994, 117 boys were born for every 100 girls in China. That is the same ratio today in China – 10 years later. Though baby girls tend to have a higher survival rate than boys, that natural process has been dramatically reversed in China by infanticide, gross neglect, maltreatment and malnutrition of females in a culture that regards boys as more desirable – especially when couples get only one chance at parenthood.
The trend transcends the infancy stage, too, the report shows. Girls are at higher risk than boys of dying before the age of 5 in China – despite their natural biological advantages.
“In many cases, mothers are more likely to bring their male children to health centers – particularly to private physicians – and they may be treated at an earlier stage of disease than girls,” the paper reported.
WHO documented what can only be described as the biggest single holocaust in human history – and doing it in a surprisingly clinical and low-key fashion. It was characterized in that WorldNetDaily report, for the first time, as “gendercide,” a phrase that has been picked up by other organizations and activists around the globe
Some Chinese couples who want a boy simply choose to abandon female infants to die.