The costs of China’s one-child policy have been proclaimed over and over again – forced abortions, involuntary sterilization, infanticide, and economic and societal impacts which are only just being realized. Yet the events of Monday, February 4 bring attention to still another dark facet of China’s brutal regulations: the lengths family planning officials will go to when enforcing these regulations.
It began around lunchtime, as Lien-Di Chen, his wife Yu-Hong Li, and their children were heading upstairs to have lunch. Eleven family planning officials entered the home, demanding payment of a fine for Chen and his wife allegedly violating the One-Child Policy. They were offered chairs to sit down, but they refused and began threatening Chen.
The discussion became heated, and the officials persuaded Chen’s wife to accompany them to nearby Ruian to discuss options for payment, proceeding to drag Chen from the house, tearing his clothes. By the time he reached the van intended to transport them to Ruian, Chen’s wife was already inside, and his 13-month-old son, who had been left with Chen’s eldest daughter, was crying for his mother. Chen took the baby, intending to give the little one to his wife, but as he approached the van, he was shoved, and the baby fell to the ground. Before either parent could rescue him, the officials began driving, and they crushed the baby beneath the tires. Chen’s son was pulled from underneath the car, still containing the government workers, and rushed to a nearby hospital, where he died a short time later.
One villager who witnessed the incident told a human rights worker that the baby was actually pushed out of the van by a government worker, with a second witness reporting hearing the government officials yelling, “Let’s go! Let’s go!”
The driver of the car and the Communist Party secretary have reportedly been arrested, following large protests outside local government offices, though it remains unclear whether they have been charged, not to mention whether the death of the child was intentional or accidental.
Even in the event of a negligent killing, the tragedy reveals a trend of violence against Chinese citizens that continues to compound the gross human rights violations that result from China’s brutal laws. China’s unborn and newborn infants, along with their mothers, are not the only ones to suffer violence and death at the hands of family planning officials, who will often stop at nothing to meet government quotas for sterilizations and population control.
In March of 2011, it was revealed that government officials had stabbed to death a young man attempting to protect his father from a savage beating. Officials had appeared at the home, intending to seize the young man’s sister and force sterilization, but when they found she was not home, they began mercilessly beating the girl’s father instead. The young man, identified as “Mr. Xu,” attempted to protect his father from the beating and was stabbed twice in the heart with a long knife by one of the officials. He died before ever reaching the hospital. None of the government workers involved were arrested, and local news agencies refused to cover the story.
Testimony given before Congress in 2011 details multiple accounts of horrific brutality against families who are suspected of violating the One-Child Policy – beatings for couples who are 24 hours late for the routine pregnancy tests required every 3 months; mutilation of a mother’s finger when her son did not reappear quickly enough with money to pay a fine; ruthless and unrelenting violence for the smallest of offenses, often leaving family members with permanent disfigurement and injury. As detailed in a recent Congressional Report, family planning officials are rarely, if ever, held to account for these crimes, and they are directly and indirectly encouraged to continue through linking bonuses and job promotion with high rates of sterilization and abortion.
Given the secrecy with which the Chinese government treats these atrocities, and the lengths they will go to in silencing any who speak up, it is likely that even these reports are just the tip of the iceberg. One thing ought to remain clear, however, and resonate as a sound warning in America – when the value of life is degraded or cheapened for the weakest, the sanctity of all human life is torn down as well.
Any excuse used in support of abortion, be it the “good of society,” the “health” of third parties, financial incentives, or “freedom” to do as one pleases, will soon be used to commit violence and brutality against all persons. Once the foundation for the value of life is eroded, there is no longer any basis to protect life at all, and everyone will eventually pay the price.