Of all the policies invoked by China since the Communist take-over in 1949, none have caused as much grief inside the country as the one-child-per-family dictum. At one point modern China's founder, Mao Zedong, encouraged families to have as many children as possible as a way to build prosperity, to make China an international force, and to ensure that in old age parents would be looked after by their kids.
The realization that more people did not necessarily increase prosperity, but if fact guaranteed more poverty, resulted in family planning with Draconian resolve. USA Today recently had an in-depth report on China's one-child enforcement measures that include kidnapping and forcing abortions. These are beyond the imagination of western cultures, but are in accordance with China's view of reality.
As brutal as some Chinese measures seem to us, they blend with the Chinese regime's creed that anything -- literally anything -- is acceptable if it advances Beijing's interests. And one-child families are a cornerstone to the country's ambitions. International awareness has forced discretion on some of China's actions.
Still, a Communist party functionary describes how pregnant women are kidnapped for a short period, and injected with something that forces a miscarriage. In rural areas, two children are permitted, but if a third child is conceived the parents are allowed to keep it only if they pay the equivalent of about $8,600 for the privilege -- payable prior to the birth.
Even at eight months pregnant, abortions are induced.
From various reports, it seems that there's growing unease among the Chinese leadership about the one-child policy that the people of China oppose, but have to endure. Beijing propaganda claims its "benevolent" policy has prevented 400 million births over the last 30 years.
One reasons why the one-child per family is likely to remain in place is that China's family planning bureaucracy is so large, that to dismantle it would result in huge unemployment. And like bureaucracies everywhere, they fight tooth-and-nail to survive. Another reason is that the fees for having an extra child run to something like $3 billion a year -- with unknown amounts winding up in the pockets of administrators. So the drum beat of forced abortions is likely to continue.
Ironically, there are also reports of China encouraging births in some areas to produce children for sale to foreigners -- sort of human puppy-mills. This seems bizarre, but with the Chinese you never know. The Chinese execute more people than any other country in the world, with some 55 crimes designated for the death penalty. What is well-established is that some prisoners on death row are kept around until there's a demand for a heart, lung, liver, cornea or whatever, and then the execution takes place so the customer get a fresh body part.
Macabre enough with criminals, but there are also reports of Falun Gong dissidents being imprisoned until their body parts can be sold.
Former cabinet minister David Kilgour and Winnipeg human rights lawyer David Matas have relentlessly investigated China's organ "harvesting" program. Their report concludes: "There has been, and continues today to be, large-scale organ seizures from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners." This is denied by Beijing, despite first-hand evidence to the contrary.
Falun Gong is a discipline that combines meditation, gentle exercising, truthfulness, compassion and tolerance to gain spiritual enlightenment. Until it was repressed, Falun Gong was becoming more popularity in China than the Communist Party -- something intolerable for Beijing.