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August 24, 2011

VP Joe Biden Stirs Debate on China's One-Child Policy

Vice President Joe Biden in China last weekend prompted renewed controversy over China's one-child policy, in remarks that seemed to condone the government rule.

"Your policy has been one which I fully understand -- I’m not second-guessing -- of one child per family," Biden told a crowd Sunday at Sichuan University, the keynote speech of his four-day trip to China.

Condemnation of Biden's remarks came swiftly from human rights groups and the pro-life sector, as well as from several political leaders. Many perceived Biden's comment as a softening of the U.S. diplomatic stance toward China's policy, which mandates that most families limit themselves to only one child and prioritizes male children above female.


Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser called the remark “pandering” on the SBA List blog. “Vice President Biden should be doing much more than second guessing the policy, he should be outright condemning it,” Dannenfelser said.

Biden spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff sought to clarify Biden’s comment in a statement reported by the conservative news site The Daily Caller on Tuesday evening. “The vice president believes [China’s coercive birth limitation policies] practices are repugnant,” she said.

Biden's remarks came in response to a question about U.S. debt. Biden compared the U.S. “baby boom” to China's one-child policy in that both have created an unsustainable problem. "The result being that you’re in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people,” Biden explained to the Chinese audience.

“He was arguing against the one-child policy to a Chinese audience,” Barkoff explained in the statement. “[Biden] also pointed out, in China, that the policy is, as a practical matter, unsustainable.”

Republican candidates for the presidential nomination Mitt Romney and Rick Perry and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) condemned the policy in response to Biden’s comment. Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on human rights who has worked to publicize the work of activist anti-gendercide organizations such as Christian group All Girls Allowed, called the remarks “outrageous” on conservative Laura Ingraham’s radio show Tuesday morning.

“This is the worst, most pervasive act of violence against women anywhere in the world,” Smith said. “The Vice President, in this outrageous statement, is showing the world that we do not care about Chinese women and Chinese babies.”

Arguments have been made that the government mandate helps women—who are now greatly outnumbered by men in China—excel in career and education. The policy, initially implemented in 1979, was designed to control population growth in the world’s most heavily-populated country. However, the policy has been linked to infanticide, forced abortion and sterilization. 

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came under fire after suggesting human rights issues in China should not interfere with economic issues, though she has spoken out against the one-child practice in the past.


Groups such as All Girls Allowed have ramped up calls for the U.S. to take a less lenient position on the policy of the Chinese government as the U.S. has become more dependent on top-lender China.

Comments

Joe Biden is the village idiot of this administration. Why even give him one moment of press time?

You could say, after they released the clarification, that the Obama administration is sorta kinda against the Chinese forced sterilization, abortion and infanticide program. But at the beginning of his administration President Obama reinstated funding for the UNFPA, which participates in the program. So while Obama is "against" what the Chinese are doing in the theoretical, in the practical he is a supporter!

The one-child policy in China has had its impact and served its purpose for the short time it was meant to be there; for population slow-down. I have lived there and observed:- Today, it has created a problem that is growing by the hour. It is called the "4-2-1" impact. With one child, the Chinese culture of parrental care is shattered. In the pre-policy days, a large family could and did care for the aged. Today a married couple with no siblings - the "1" has two families "2" and "4" people to care for. This is a large stress on the family in an inflationary environment and is severely impacting the economy and family stability immensely and family breakdown is rampant. As Christians we have the responsibility to care and therefore be sensible. One child is not sensible nor is 21 children. We have to take our Christian responsibility seriously and not over indulge in anything - even children. Do not criticise - understand and work and pray for improvement, change and influence by the Holy Spirit.

Let me guess, David, as per your post: while we're distributing birth control to married couples so they have no more than 2 or 3 kids, do we give it to fornicators, too, since bastards would be the last thing we'd want? Amazing what has happened to Christianity in this 21st century...

China's one-baby policy is China's business. Over-population is a problem which only the Chinese understand. I don't think Biden was intentionally condoning the practice. But here the Christian right, the Roman Catholic Church and even the Muslims do not condone birth control which is tragic to say the least!. They feel offended. But at this present juncture when the earth's resources are fast diminishing due to the phenomenal population growth, religion should not come in the way of keeping the planet's population which has now exceeded 7 billion + under control. Food, water, land and even the ocean resources are fast disappearing because of population growth. This is having a domino effect on poverty, unemployment, illiteracy,crime and hunger. Do the religious fanatics want these to continue or they would want a solution at hand? Religious fanatics of all shades must snap out of this anti-abortion, anti-choice, anti-environment thinking and encourage everyone to have a single child family like in China. A small family is always a happy family.