A new campaign in China to rid the countryside of pro-abortion slogans as crude as "Raise fewer babies but more piggies" is just a cover-up for a continuation of the nation's program that penalizes families with more than one child, a pro-family group says.
"Instead of abandoning its draconian program of forced population control, China is trying to put a happy-face on its extreme anti-family policies," said Allan C. Carlson, international secretary of the World Congress of Families.
China's official Xinhua News Agency recently reported that the slogans, the front for the 28-year-old national family planning policy that restricts most families to one child, were building resentment in rural areas.
The program includes forced abortions and sterilizations, reports have documented.
Farmers in the countryside, where sometimes brutal methods including heavy fines, property seizures and home demolition are used to enforce the policy, especially have been resentful, according to a report from the Associated Press.
Just weeks ago riots in southern Guangxi province involved several thousand farmers who objected to what they called arbitrary and brutal fines levied against families. There also have been reports that government employees in that region's Bobai county were told to collect fines or demolish the homes of offenders.
So now the governmental news agency said China's National Population and Family Planning Commission has announced plans to eliminate such insensitivities, and reduce the "tarnishing" of the government's image.
Another slogan that now has been discontinued was: "House toppled, cows confiscated, if abortion demand rejected." And also forbidden was: "One more baby means one more tomb." Such slogans are found painted on buildings along rural roads, as well as in other uses.
The Congress said in a statement that local officials generated the slogans under intense pressure from the government to hold down birthrates, which sometimes result in fines as high as $1,300, or 10 times the annual income, for villagers in farm regions.
"It has also resulted in aborting female fetuses and even female infanticide, among couples who want at least one son," Carlson noted. "This has led to a gender imbalance in China's population – a male-female ratio of 119-110."
Further, in farming communities, young men cannot find wives, and that has resulted in an industry that steals female babies, and also an upsurge in prostitution and sexual slavery, officials said.
"The horrors were inflicted not by a conquering power but by the Chinese Communist Party," Carlson declared. "Sometime in this century, China will experience a labor shortage. Even now, there are too few workers to care for the elderly."
Xinhua reported the planning commission did issue a list of 190 acceptable slogans, such as "Mother earth is too tired to sustain more children" and "Both boys and girls are parents' hearts."
Larry Jacobs, the global coordinator for the World Congress of Families, said the effort is just a change in the words used.
"The U.N. likes to use words like reproductive health, which is a euphemism for abortion," he told WND. "There's definitely an image thing. It's not like they're suddenly changing direction [with their policy.] They have been getting more criticism, and they even admit that."
He said the government notes that there probably have been 300 million births "prevented," but he said that in itself creates a new set of problems for China.
"They have the most rapidly aging population on earth," he said. "They'll soon catch up with the Japanese, in having a lot of old people and no one working to support them."
He said the rest of the world can continue to apply pressure on China to drop the policy altogether through international treaties and economic factors.
"One of the things we've tried to show at our World Congress meetings is that smart development includes the family," he said. "Ultimately if you don't support families and social values you end up with economies like the European Union without morality or any kind of social order. You end up with an aging population unable to support itself."
"We're not going to turn them around with a few letters to a few Chinese authorities," he said. "But at least they recognize that people are criticizing." He said the more the issue is highlighted, the more concerned the Chinese government appears to be about the issue.
The group's recent World Congress of Families IV, held in May in Warsaw, was titled, "Beyond Demographic Winter: The Natural Family As The Springtime of Nations."
However, in terms of demographic winter, "China is the Arctic Circle," Carlson said.
The WCF is an international network of pro-family organizations, scholars, leaders and people of goodwill from more than 60 nations. It seeks to restore the natural family as the fundamental social unit and the 'seedbed' of civil society. It was founded in 1997 by Carlson and is a project of The Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society in Rockford, Ill.
Related special offers: