In The Catholic Thing
Between 1958 and 1962, for instance, the “Great Leap Forward,” China’s radical collectivist policy, was responsible for the worst acts of genocide in the history of mankind. The government during that period deliberately starved to death over 45 million. Total mass killings since the Communists seized power in 1949 are estimated to be 70 million.
Because China is now a super economic and trading power, and a major holder of United States government debt, many have turned a blind eye to China’s human-rights abuses. As a result, China’s 8 million underground Catholics loyal to the magisterium continue to be persecuted for practicing their faith.
Scores of priests who have refused to join Patriotic Catholic Associations, which are independent of the Holy See, are rotting in prison. China’s leading underground bishop, Julius Jia Zhiguo of Zhending, has been arrested thirteen times. Six other bishops have been under arrest for years. The whereabouts of two of them are unknown.
The Chinese government has continued to reject Vatican episcopal appointments and to appoint bishops not recognized by Rome. In November 2010, the Pope publicly condemned the illicit episcopal ordination of Joseph Guo Jincai. He said it was “a painful wound upon ecclesial communion and a grave violation of Catholic discipline.” And in July, the Vatican excommunicated another bishop ordained by the government.
Vatican attempts to reconcile relations between the underground and official government church have, for the most part, failed. Chinese authorities have been blocking Catholic websites that published the Compendium of Pope Benedict’s May 2007 letter to Chinese Catholics, which called for unity of the Church in China.
Religious persecution is not the only human rights violation. China’s most egregious policy implemented since the death of Mao in 1976, has been its coercive family planning program. For thirty-two years, the government has forbidden Chinese couples from having more than one child.
Sadly, most Western governments, including the United States, have been reluctant to criticize the program. Worse still, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has donated hundreds of millions to the Chinese government to help fund enforcement.
In August, China’s family planning became newsworthy when Vice President Joe Biden made this comment during his China goodwill trip: “Your policy has been one which I fully understand – I’m not second guessing – of one child per family. The result being that you’re in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people. Not sustainable.”
What an incredibly callous remark from a baptized Catholic. To suggest that denying married couples their God-given right to bear children is not morally reprehensible but “understandable” reveals a total disregard for the sacredness of human life. And to conclude that the policy’s only flaw is that over the long-term it is economically unsound is ludicrous.
Here are the real facts about what China expert John Aird has called the most draconian policy “since King Herod’s slaughter of the innocents”:
When a married Chinese couple wishes to have a child, they are legally required to procure a yellow pregnancy permission card from family planning bureaucrats. The government forces women who become pregnant without official permission, to get an abortion and afterward many are sterilized. Partial-birth abortions and post-birth strangulations are not uncommon.
There are on average about 15 million abortions annually. Doctors who permit unauthorized babies to live are severely punished. Illegal survivors are taken from their parents and sold by the government to foreign adoptive parents. The current sale price is about $4,000 per child.
The one-child policy has caused female infanticide. Giving birth to a son is very important to the traditional Chinese family. Hence, many expectant mothers seek abortions after they are told their first – and only permitted – child is to be a girl. Massive abortions of female babies have caused a serious imbalance between the sexes. It has been projected that by 2030 there will not be enough Chinese brides for about 20 percent of the male population.
Couples who fail to comply with birth-control regulations are penalized by the state. They can be denied housing or evicted from their lodgings. Their electricity and water could be cut off. Wives are often fined, denied government benefits, and driver’s licenses are suspended. Husbands could lose their jobs or have their salaries drastically reduced.
The one-child policy, The Economist has reported (July 23, 2011), “is not just a human-rights abomination, it has also worsened a demographic problem. . . .China now has too few young people, not too many. . . .China is getting old before it has got rich.”
China’s totalitarian domination of every aspect of its people’s lives is indeed “a human rights abomination.” It is one of the tragedies of our age that our vice president and the administration he represents, are incapable of recognizing this obvious and sad fact.