Being an animal lover, such things are too much to bear, but perhaps my senses have been deadened. Now I merely avoid those eateries and go about my business. After all, animal cruelty laws (2) here are all but non-existent (3), so what could I expect?
Although treatment of man’s best friend can be depressing, who can get used to stories the one in my previous post titled China and Population Control – Take My Baby Please?
In that post, I related how a Chinese villager offered his child to a colleague of mine. He did this out of fear of reprisal of the “one-child policy police”, who perform their duties with utmost efficiency if not passion. It’s these communist party officials or “police” whom this article is about.
Congressman Chris Smith has asked the government to take a stand against China’s “birth control police” and send a message to China. He asked the current administration to use existing laws and block these “officials” from entering the US. This would send a message to China. It would prove that the US still cares about protecting human rights, a precondition for China’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO).
This is significant in many ways. Washington offered China access to our enormous markets in hopes that they would change. In turn, the Chinese promised to do so.
Now, over ten years later, it is obvious that America was on the losing side of that deal. The Chinese bash foreign brands, close crucial markets to trade, and have gotten rich in the process. Before joining the WTO, China had zero billionaires, now it has only a handful fewer than the US.
Take My Child – Part 2
And what did we get from this Faustian bargain? Millions of people who cannot find jobs (4), an increasing deficit and theft of precious American ideas (5), all thanks to mainland China. Oh yeah, to make matters worse, they didn’t even bother to improve their human rights record.
Perhaps I should continue with the story about my colleague and the baby girl to explain why this is of such vital importance. Like I said, a colleague of mine shed light on the horrific impact of this brutal single-child policy. My friend explained to me that while on vacation he met a beleaguered Chinese peasant who had begged him to take the man’s girl. Not necessarily adopt nor hide her in any conventional sense of the word, but to take ownership of his progeny as one would a pet bird, puppy or cat.
The poverty stricken man said he’d gone over his quota of children and had two. The Chinese birth control police were bound to find out and his child would be at risk.
The man asked not for money but compassion from my friend. If my friend were to take the child, it would have a chance to live a normal life. If found by the communist child planning officials, his daughter’s fate would be sealed. According to him, the arithmetic was simple, his family could not pay the one-child policy violation fine so the girl would be stolen and sold.
When I asked what he did, my friend replied, “Nothing,” with a shrug. The way he saw it, taking the toddler would be more trouble than it was worth. He’d have to answer too many questions for which he had no plausible explanation, so he left. That was a few years ago but has anything changed? According to many, no it has not.
One Child Policy Continues
“China’s violent population control efforts are genocide and the communist regime should be investigated for them.” – Chinese lawyer, Chen Guangcheng (6)
The communist party has relaxed its one-child policy a little, but the mandatory extermination of fetuses continues as before. Should children come to term and breach the womb, they meet the fate of the peasant girl or worse. Little girls are sold into marriage as soon as they can walk and boys peddled to the highest bidder. Men whose bank accounts more than compensate for their inability to father children are the beneficiaries of unsavory communist officials (7).
Should parents fight for the right to keep their kids, they are beaten, imprisoned or worse. They have no rights, the children become illicit property of the state, or at least some government official and then treated as chattel.
This is not a Chinese problem, but an issue affecting the moral fabric of society. By failing to demand Beijing abide by promises they made, we implicitly condone their brutal behavior. Rather than decline visas of those responsible, as Congressman Chris Smith has suggested (6), Washington does nothing. We welcome those same communist officials for whom baby theft and extermination are a multi-billion dollar business. Those cadres are the ones who proudly claim to have prevented over 300 million births since making a law that one child was enough.
“But what can we do?” you ask.
Following the logic of Mr. Smith, we can refuse entry to anyone associated with the one-child policy enforcement branch. In doing so, we can speak for the unborn and kidnapped, and convince China to act. I am sure such a thing would appeal to the guy who begged a stranger to run off with his baby. Of course, that man is powerless, can the same be said of us?
The communist party uses draconian measures to maintain control. Their leadership is a cabal of overseers whose power is illegitimate and built upon coercion and terror. By treating humans as property, the communist party ensures that Tienanmen 1989 is not revisited. Tools to ensure this are the one-child policy, among others.
Hukou Makes the Man
Even if we give Beijing the benefit of the doubt and assume the peasant’s child was not sold for a profit, what would his life be worth? The answer to that question is “not much.” Another consequence of controlling births is that illegal children do not legally exist. They are literally in limbo.
Household residence or “Hukou” gives one the right to be in China. Mainlanders need a household residence in order to be considered a legal person. Chinese parents desiring a child must file a birth application before having a baby. Once granted, they can let nature take its course.
After a series of post-birth procedures, the child will be given hokou – essentially Chinese citizenship. This form of residence is a carryover from Mao’ist days and determines a person’s legal status. From the beginning, hukou was used as a tool of control. Permission was needed to travel beyond the confines of one’s hukou. This prevented Chinese from moving about as they saw fit. It forced them into a state of profound subservience.
This restriction still plays a crucial role in state control. During the Olympics, Beijing wanted to beautify the city. In part, this meant getting rid of itinerant laborers who might spoil the view. Beijing cops were stationed at strategic locations across the city.
Anyone not having Beijing residence – usually manual laborers – were shuttled to their homes. This group had no legal right to be in the capital and were dispatched with ease. The same trick is used with dissidents Beijing wishes to stifle. Should they be brave enough to confront the leadership, they too are sent back to their official home.
The sad thing is how this system marginalizes an entire country. Opportunity in China is not divided equally. Cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou are economic leaders. People who have a right to live there are in the catbird seat. These places have the best of everything, from schools to infrastructure. Not surprisingly they are also the destination of so many illegal residents. Sadly enough, being illegal puts them at a disadvantage.
People Without a Home
The reason is that hukou dictates where a person has rights. A person is only entitled to public goods and others in their authorized place of residence. As long as they remain in that town, they can attend school and obtain inexpensive medical care. Once they leave, however, those rights are lost.
For example, a person with Chongqing hukou can purchase a car, home and attend public schools in that town. Should that person move to Beijing, however, they cannot legally do any of those things. As crazy as it seems, I as a foreigner can buy a Beijing home, while a Chinese citizen sans Beijing hukou legally cannot.
“Why don’t they just get Beijing hukou?” you ask.
“I believe that the CCP is maintaining its stranglehold on power by destroying women and babies. This is the hallmark of Communism: the peacetime murder of their own citizens.” (6)
“Control,” I answer. The communist party says who can and cannot change hukou and that’s all there is to it. I’ve got friends who have lived in Beijing for 20 years and raised their kids here, yet neither they nor their children are officially Beijingers. The parents cannot own a home nor car here and their kids must return to their place of hukou to take college entrance exams. But these children have hope, because they at least still have a hukou.
Recall that these kids are legal. They have passed governmental hurdles giving them permission to exist as a real person in China, but what about those illegal kids?
Simply put, people without hukou do not technically exist. Sure, they live, eat breathe, feel and love, but they have no legal standing. For the children born out of the law and with no hukou, almost no benefits are conferred. They cannot go to college, legally marry, buy house nor car, they simply cease to exist in any meaningful way. Theirs is a life of scrapping from the hands of anyone willing to employ the illegal, and hoping for the best.
Once again, this is due to the draconian one-child policy, which is run by people and not some obtuse monolith. Of course, the group in charge are communist party officials. This contingent is supposedly manned by a few hundred thousand people, many of whom frequently visit our shores. Based on what we know, does this really make sense?
Standing Up for Children
A law was passed which enables Washington to decline visas of party members. The apparent logic to this is that they should be punished for some wrongdoing or were deemed unworthy. If that is true, then the people enforcing and financially benefiting from one of the most inhumane laws of our time certainly seem to fit this definition. Do we really want tourists whose job for the past 30 years has been to forcibly terminate the lives of children whose parents were unable to pay a fine?
The solution is simple, we merely enforce codes we now have. Chinese have passports like the rest of us and the good thing about communist officials is that their positions and titles are not hidden. We know full well what department they work for and for how long.
We could remind China of their decade’s old promise and simply say no. This problem is not insurmountable. We have the information and know who they are, we simply tell them to go home. Neither their money or presence is not wanted in America, let them go elsewhere. Taking such a step would go far in letting Beijing know where we stand; unfortunately our inaction says the same.
Rather than objecting on legal and moral grounds, Washington digs in its capitalist heels. Chinese tourists spend twice as much as those from any other country, and America loves money. An embassy staffer told me that one job is created for every eight Chinese tourists. So there you have it. Allow the entirety of China’s anti-child gestapo to visit America and we fill a town with jobs.
The poor Chinese lose family, dignity respect and hope, but we also suffer. We fail to demand that China pull on their big boy britches and do what they promised. If they are getting rich with the help of America, at least they can say thanks. As a people we don’t demand they oust the party and become democratic, but merely expect them to honor their word. As is increasingly obvious, this does not seem to be true.
We put up with China’s commercial bullying under the name of capitalism. I disagree with the premise, but understand it. What I cannot comprehend is our failure to act on human rights. Our only petition is that China honor its word, but Washington refuses to act.
An easy way to get involved is to contact your local congress man/woman and/or senator. You could point them to this article or Google search Chen Guangcheng and mail links articulating what he has seen. Armed with that information, they have a choice to make. They can continue to treat China as a “partner who keeps its word,” or seek change.
References & Image Credits:
(2) Wikipedia: Animal Welfare Rights in China
(3) Facebook: WGAPC
(4) TSW: The US Is Losing Jobs and Secrets to China
(5) TSW: China and Intellectual Rights in the Music Industry
(6) Life News
(7) New York Times