SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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FORCED ABORTION AND STERILIZATION IN CHINA: THE VIEW FROM THE INSIDE
SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED FIFTH CONGRESS
JUNE 10, 1998
Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
Page 2 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCBENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York, Chairman
WILLIAM GOODLING, Pennsylvania
JAMES A. LEACH, Iowa
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
DOUG BEREUTER, Nebraska
CHRISTOPHER SMITH, New Jersey
DAN BURTON, Indiana
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida
CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina
DANA ROHRABACHER, California
DONALD A. MANZULLO, Illinois
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California
PETER T. KING, New York
JAY KIM, California
STEVEN J. CHABOT, Ohio
MARSHALL ''MARK'' SANFORD, South Carolina
MATT SALMON, Arizona
AMO HOUGHTON, New York
TOM CAMPBELL, California
JON FOX, Pennsylvania
JOHN McHUGH, New York
LINDSEY GRAHAM, South Carolina
ROY BLUNT, Missouri
KEVIN BRADY, Texas
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCRICHARD BURR, North Carolina
LEE HAMILTON, Indiana
SAM GEJDENSON, Connecticut
TOM LANTOS, California
HOWARD BERMAN, California
GARY ACKERMAN, New York
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American Samoa
MATTHEW G. MARTINEZ, California
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
ROBERT ANDREWS, New Jersey
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey
SHERROD BROWN, Ohio
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
ALCEE L. HASTINGS, Florida
PAT DANNER, Missouri
EARL HILLIARD, Alabama
BRAD SHERMAN, California
ROBERT WEXLER, Florida
STEVE ROTHMAN, New Jersey
BOB CLEMENT, Tennessee
BILL LUTHER, Minnesota
JIM DAVIS, Florida
LOIS CAPPS, California
RICHARD J. GARON, Chief of Staff
MICHAEL H. VAN DUSEN, Democratic Chief of Staff
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Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights
CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey, Chairman
WILLIAM F. GOODLING, Pennsylvania
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
DAN BURTON, Indiana
CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina
PETER T. KING, New York
MATT SALMON, Arizona
LINDSEY O. GRAHAM, South Carolina
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida
TOM LANTOS, California
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
GARY L. ACKERMAN, New York
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American Samoa
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
EARL F. HILLIARD, Alabama
ROBERT WEXLER, Florida
GROVER JOSEPH REES, Subcommittee Staff Director and Chief Counsel
ROBERT R. KING, Democratic Professional Staff Member
DOUGLAS C. ANDERSON, Counsel
CATHERINE DUBOIS, Staff Associate
C O N T E N T S
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Ms. Nicole Hess, The Laogai Research Foundation
Ms. Gao Xiao Duan, Former Administrator, Planned Birth Control Office, People's Republic of China
Ms. Zhou Shiu Yon, Coercive Population Control Victim
Mr. Harry Hongda Wu, Executive Director, Laogai Research Foundation
Hon. Christopher H. Smith, a Representative in Congress from New Jersey and Chairman, Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights
Ms. Gao Xiao Duan
Ms. Zhou Shiu Yon
Mr. Harry Hongda Wu
Additional material submitted for the record:
Video narration transcript, read by Nicole Hess
The Wall Street Journal, ''How China Uses U.N. Aid for Forced Abortions,'' written by Stephen W. Mosher, Monday, May 13, 1985
The Washington Post, ''Abortion Policy Tears at China's Society,'' written by Michael Weisskopf, Monday, January 7, 1985
The New York Times, ''China's Crackdown on Births: A Stunning, and Harsh, Success,'' Sunday, April 25, 1993
The New York Times, ''Births Punished by Fine, Beating, or Ruined Home
U.N. Population Fund, January 7, 1998, Programme of Assistance to China
FORCED ABORTION AND STERILIZATION IN CHINA: THE VIEW FROM THE INSIDE
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCWEDNESDAY, JUNE 10, 1998
House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights,
Committee on International Relations,
The Subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 11:06 a.m., in room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Christopher Smith (chairman of the Subcommittee) presiding.
Mr. SMITH. [presiding] The Subcommittee will come to order. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
Civilizations can be judged by how they treat women, children, old people, and strangers. Vulnerable people bring out the kindness in every society and also the cruelty. Every so often, they become the object of practices so vile that they will cause people to recoil in horror across the centuries. One such practice is forced abortion, another is forced sterilization. The world has known for well over 15 years now that the Government of China routinely compels women to abort their unauthorized unborn children and that the Chinese men and women are often forcibly sterilized.
Almost 2 months ago, I was approached by human rights activist Harry Wu, who asked for my help in bringing an important defector from the People's Republic of China into the United States. Mrs. Gao Xiao Duan was the senior official at what the Government of China euphemistically calls a ''family planning clinic.'' She had decided that she could no longer live with herself while continuing to do this work and was trying to escape to the United States in order to tell the inside story of the PRC population control program.
Unfortunately, our State Department had already turned her down for a visa at the U.S. consulate at Guangzhou. She managed to escape to Manila where she was again denied a visa to enter the United States. Ultimately, I asked the Immigration and Naturalization Service to grant Mrs. Gao a public-interest parole so she could provide this important testimony to our Subcommittee and to the American people. INS was far more sensitive to the importance of this case than their colleagues at the State Department. They decided to allow Mrs. Gao to come to the United States to tell her story.
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We already knew many of the gruesome details of the PRC coercive population control program. We knew, for instance, that the government routinely imposes exorbitant fines on couples who had, ''unauthorized'' children, sometimes amounting to three or four times the average income of the average Chinese citizen. And that they destroyed their homes and confiscated their personal property when they cannot pay.
We knew that when a woman has an unauthorized pregnancy, she is typically brought to the family planning center and subjected to intense psychological pressure, often with the personal involvement of her boss and other people who hold power over her, until she agrees to the abortion. We knew that when the psychological pressure does not work, women are sometimes dragged physically to abortion mills and that physical force is often also employed against both men and women when they refuse to be sterilized.
We've known this for some time and I will ask unanimous consent to make a part of the record a number of articles over the course of many years. Steve Mosher broke this story after serving, doing educational work, in 1980, living among the rural Chinese, and brought to the world a story it was unwilling and perhaps even unable to accept; that forced abortion and coercive population control was part and parcel of the one-child-per-couple policy.
[The information referred to appears in the appendix.]
Mr. SMITH. Dr. John Aird, in writing his book, ''The Slaughter of the Innocents,'' and doing all kinds of other important investigative work as the China-branch specialist at the U.S. Census Bureau, helped to uncover and to systematically, methodically lay out the case of forced abortion and forced sterilization and how it works and how it is mutually reinforcing, from the very top right down to the very bottom.
In January 7, 1985, in an incisive piece in The Washington Post by Michael Weisskopfremember this is 1985he writes: ''Chinese leaders consider their policy of one-couple-one-child a fight for national survival.'' But he says: ''A closer look reveals a different picture than the one that they give about voluntarism.'' He points out that China is curbing its population growth, but its success is rooted in widespread coercion, mass abortion, and intrusion by the State into the most intimate of human affairs. ''The size of the family is too important to be left to the personal decision of the couple,'' said the Minister of Family Planning who was in China at the time. And then he goes to talk about how coercive abortionback in 1985and I can recall Members, when I raised this issue, looking at me and saying, ''It can't be true.'' Well, it continues, regrettably, to this day.
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC [The article referred to appears in the appendix.]
Mr. SMITH. A New York Times piece by Nicholas Kristof on April 25, 1993, again brought to our attention this widespread use of forced abortion. And he starts off by telling the story of a Mrs. Lee who was driven to the point of emotional breakdown and physical breakdown because she was coerced into having an abortion. I personally brought up this case when I met with Chinese family planning officials in Beijing and they said the New York Times made it all up. That it was all a figment of their imagination.
[The article referred to appears in the appendix.]
Mr. SMITH. But today, we learn, for the first time, through Mrs. Gao's testimony, details about the depravity of the PRC program, that not even the harshest critics of the program ever suspected. We never knew, for example, that the Chinese population control program employs a network of paid informants. According to Mrs. Gao, her office routinely pays people to report on the unauthorized pregnancies of their neighbors, relatives, and friends. Children are treated as such contraband, such outcasts, that people are spied upon when someone has an unauthorized, so-called ''illegal'' baby, and then that baby is targeted for extermination.
It is also not widely known that sterilization is sometimes employed not only as a preventive measure, but also as a punishment. That is, a man or a woman may be sterilized even though he or she has not yet had the one child permitted by the Chinese Government policy as a means of punishing some infraction of the rules and of deterring others from similar infractions.
The world has not known that the PRC's family planning program, a program that has been defended, praised, and given lavish financial support over the years by international population control advocates, including high officials of the U.N. Population Fund, that they conduct nighttime raids on the homes of couples suspected of having illegal babies. Or that family planning centers engage in Gestapo-like record keeping about the sexual history of every woman within their jurisdiction. Perhaps most stunning, the world has not known that these so-called family planning centers actually contain cells, detention centers with prison bars, to hold those who have resisted abortion or sterilization.
Page 9 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ironically, these shocking revelations come only a few months after the U.N. Population Fund has resumed its formal cooperation with the PRC population program. UNFPA's announcement this January of a 4-year, $20-million China program included a statement that ''China is keen to move away from its administrative approach to family planning to an integrated, client-centered reproductive health network based on the principles of free and voluntary choice.'' Mrs. Gao's testimony today makes clear that this premise is profoundly wrong. UNFPA's renewed arrangement with the PRC population control bureaucrats puts them in partnerships with thugs, criminals, and women-abusers.
Forced abortion was rightly denounced as a crime against humanity by the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal. Twice in the 1980's, the House of Representatives went on recordI offered the resolutionsthat condemned forced abortions in China as crimes against humanity. I believe that the United Nations should be organizing an international tribunal to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of the Chinese population control program. Instead it goes on funding them and congratulating them.
And to just demonstrate how far they go, Dr. Sadik, the UNFPA executive director has saidand I will say this very slowly, because these are the cheerleaders for this egregious programI quote her. This is the UNFPA executive director: The implementation of the policy in China and the acceptance of the policy is, ''purely voluntary.'' ''There is no such thing as, you know, a license to have a birth,'' and so on. She goes to say at another occasion that the UNFPA firmly believes, and so does the Government of the People's Republic of China, that their program is a totally voluntary programin stark contrast to the entire record that has been built up over the last two decades and to what we will be hearing Mrs. Gao recount to us today.
We will also hear today from Mrs. Zhou Yon, a victim of the coercive population control program who escaped from China when she was 2 months pregnant. She escaped a forced abortion with literally minutes to spare, only to lose her baby and then spend 4 1/2 years in detention at the hands of incredulous U.S. Government officials. She was recently released from detention, but still faces forcible deportation to China.
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Finally, we will hear from human rights crusader and former political prisoner, Harry Wu, who has been instrumental in helping Mrs. Gao escape from China to tell her story and whose detailed knowledge of the coercive population control program is as impressive as his knowledge of the Laogai ''reform through labor'' system.
I look forward to hearing the testimony of these courageous witnesses. I hope their testimony will be heard in the White House, in the United Nations and by all those the world over who cling to the comfortable belief that the worst is over, that crimes against humanity are a thing of the past, because clearly they are not.
I would like to, at this point, yield to my good friend and colleague, Mr. Lantos, for any opening statement you might have.
Mr. LANTOS. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Let me first commend you for holding this hearing. You have been the leader in the Congress on the issue of forced abortion and forced sterilization and I've been proud to have joined you in every single occasion in this battle. There are few crimes against human beings which are more horrendous, more despicable, more outrageous than the practice of forced abortion and forced sterilization. Such brutal violations of human rights must be condemned across the political spectrum and you and I have stood together through the years in condemning them.
I also welcome the statements of the President and the Secretary of State and other leaders of our government in opposing such practices by the Chinese and by other governments. A statement regarding U.S. international population policy, the official statement of our government, makes clear what our policy is on this issue and I would like to quote it. ''The United States has stressed repeatedly its concerns over those elements of China's family planning policy which are antithetical to the internationally agreed principles of non-coercion and voluntarism, and particularly those activities that may lead to coerced sterilizations for abortions. Legislation currently in effect reduces our contributions to the U.N. population fund by the amount that it is spending for programs in China. In addition, as required by law, the U.N. population fund keeps U.S. funds in a separate account so that none may be used for the China program.''
Page 11 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And I would like to ask Mr. Chairman that the full statement by our government on this subject be included in the record at this point.
Mr. SMITH. Without objection, so ordered.
[The information referred to appears in the appendix.]
Mr. LANTOS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Let me just say, in conclusion, that we are dealing in this turbulent post-cold war with an enormous range of human rights violations, running from religious discrimination to forced abortions and sterilizations. And there is really no country which has the responsibility as fully on its shoulders than ours to fight all forms of human rights abuses wherever they appear. We have made human rights a global issue. We have not always had our friends and allies join with us. And it is because our voice so often has been a lonely voice, we have been so much less successful than we would have liked to be in dealing with human rights abuses.
But I think it's important to recognize, as we deal with this important issue, that we have had enormous successes. The Soviet Union, indeed the Warsaw Pact, the Soviet Empire has collapsed. One of the most courageous fighters for human rights in China, Harry Wu, is here today as a distinguished and important witnesses before a congressional committee.
And, while we can never be satisfied, Mr. Chairman, with our modest achievements, it is important to keep the record straight. Our fight for human rights that this Committee and the Congressional Human Rights Caucus has fought now for almost two decades have been successful in vast numbers of instances. Totalitarian regimes that crumbled, not because of our efforts, but we may have made a modest contribution to these successes. I can only hope, in conclusion, that forced abortion and forced sterilization before long will be looked upon as barbaric practices of an age gone by and, when that day comes, you deserve special thanks for having led that fight.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Page 12 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SMITH. I thank the Ranking Member, Mr. Lantos, very much for those kind words and for being so much a part of this fight to first expose and then mitigate and, hopefully, eliminate forced abortion and forced sterilization.
Mr. Salmon from Arizona.
Mr. SALMON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I look forward to hearing the panel today. I appreciate your leadership and your support as well as Congressman Lantos. In the 4 years that I've been here, it seems one constancy that I can always count on is that you two will be fighting the fight, leading the charge when it comes to any human rights violations across the globe and I appreciate that.
It seems to me, Mr. Chairman, that the most fundamental human right of all is the right to life. And I'm as frustrated as you are that, even though it appears that there's some progress, very, very small progress in at least moving in a positive direction, it continues to happen. And as long as one family is forced to abort, that is a violation that we need to focus our attention on.
I have differed with many of my colleagues who have, I guess demanded, that the President recall his trip to Beijing because of various reasons. I think that the President should go, but I think that these are the kinds of things that he has to bring up. He has to talk about these things and he has to talk about them publicly when he's in China. Because I think the Chinese people need to know that we know. And they need to know that we're shedding light on it. And they need to know we're concerned. And they need to know it is impeding the relationship that we have with China as long as they continue atrocious policies such as this one.
And, Mr. Chairman, I think that if we could have a hearing every day, 300 days a year, it probably wouldn't be enough on this subject because there is no greater atrocity that occurs than the snuffing out of an innocent life. And so I commend you. I look forward to hearing those who are here to testify. Thank you.
Page 13 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much, Mr. Salmon. And I'd like to recognize the distinguished chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Mr. Hyde.
Mr. HYDE. I thank you, Mr. Chairman. And it's all been said very well by yourself and Mr. Lantos and Mr. Salmon and I just associate myself with their sentiments. I would say that abortion, whether coerced or voluntary, is all the same to the unborn. It's a life member of the human family extinguished because it's inconvenient and that is dehumanizing. But it's doubly dehumanizing when the mother who wants to have her child is forced by the government to exterminate her child. That's a double insult to humanity and this practice should be exposed for what it is and rejected for what it is. So I thank you for holding these hearings.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much, Mr. Hyde.
I'd like to ask our distinguished panelists if they would come to the witness table and I'll introduce them in the order they requested they speak.
Gao Xiao Duan was the administrator of a planned birth office in Fujian Province of the People's Republic of China until she left the country only 2 months ago. For the past 14 years, Ms. Gao was responsible for implementing concrete population measures in her community of 60,000 people pursuant to the dictates of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party and the State Council on Planned Birth.
Our second witness, Zhou Shiu Yon, is a victim of the Chinese Government's coercive population control program. Exactly 5 years ago, yesterday, she fled from China because Chinese officials were attempting to force her to submit to an abortion.
And, finally, Harry Wu, the executive director of the Laogai Research Foundation. As a prisoner of conscience, Mr. Wu spent 19 years in 12 different forced-labor camps in the People's Republic of China. He came to the United States after his release in 1979, and established the Laogai Research Foundation in 1992. In 1995, he was arrested by the Chinese Government when he attempted to enter China and was sentenced to 15 years in prison for stealing state secrets. After an extensive international campaign on his behalf, Mr. Wu was expelled and returned to this country where he has continued to provide the American public and the Congress with invaluable information on the human rights situation in the People's Republic of China.
Page 14 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mrs. Gao, if you would proceed. But we will be starting with the video and then we'll go right to your oral presentation.
STATEMENT OF MS. NICOLE HESS, THE LAOGAI RESEARCH FOUNDATION
Ms. HESS. Let me say, before the video begins, that the women in this video did not have any prior knowledge that their interviews would be shown to the Western world. They were under the impression that the man who was interviewing them would report back to the central government on the progress of the planned birth policy in China.
In this first scene, a sign on the street openly depicts propaganda promoting the Chinese planned birth policy. This is the government planned birth policy, signed by the Yonghe Town People's Government, displayed openly on the street.
Mrs. Gao is pictured here walking to work at the planned birth office where she has worked for the past 14 years. The Yonghe Town Planned birth office is in charge of a population of about 60,000 people.
A sign above the door at the entrance to the office says, ''No permit, no marriage; no permit, no pregnancy; no permit, no baby.''
The Chinese carry out the planned birth policy with the help of Chinese citizens who inform the planned birth office of their neighbor's violations of the policy. This is the informer's box where people in the town who wish to report violations can drop their accusations.
On the first floor of the building is a detention facility which holds those who are in violation of the government's planned birth policy. Other family members can be arrested and detained here if the government cannot apprehend the woman in violation. They can hold these people without any formal arrest whatsoever until the woman surrenders herself to having an abortion or sterilization. Each cell holds 20 to 25 people.
Page 15 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mrs. Gao is depicted here doing her daily work of issuing birth-allowed certificates and birth-not-allowed certificates. She can also organize supervision teams from here which apprehend policy violators at night.
Also on the first floor of the building is a computer room which holds the data for every single woman in the town over the age of 16. Each individual woman's information is held on these cards which contain their birthday, marriage date, menstrual cycle, births, et cetera.
There is absolutely no privacy in this system. Mrs. Gao is showing charts which have all of the information on every single procedure each woman has received in the planned birth office, from intrauterine device insertion to sterilization to abortion.
An example of the lack of privacy in the system is the detail of each woman's picture on every single chart that is held in this office. These records are made public every month when the town government summarizes the information on the cards and posts them in the village.
The second floor holds a surgery room where women have abortions and are sterilized right in the planned birth office.
This woman was engaged to her boyfriend, but was only 19 years old so this kind of arrangement was illegal. She became pregnant, but her pregnancy was not legal according to the government because she did not have a permit for marriage. The constitution says that a woman is of adult age at the age of 18, however they will not issue marriage permits in China until the woman has reached the age of 20. She was 9 months pregnant before she was apprehended and brought into the office for an abortion. She describes how, if she did not go into the office to get the abortion, her house and her mother-in-law's house would have been destroyed by a supervision team and she would have to pay a fine.
When asked what was done, if the baby is still alive when aborted, Mrs. Gao answers that it is given an injection so that it will die. She goes on to say that even up to a few days before the due date, abortions are still performed. She tells of the horrors of how, at the peak of abortions in China, many times baby fetuses would be thrown into the trash can after abortions.
Page 16 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC After her abortion, this woman had an IUD inserted. She later married, but is not sure if she will ever be able to have any children again.
This woman's story is quite similar. She was pregnant and engaged to her boyfriend. However, out of fear of the government's planned birth policy, as she did not have a permit for such a birth, she went to the hospital and aborted her baby on her own. Later, she tells of how she was accused of hiding the baby by informers and the government captured her for sterilization. Before her sterilization surgery, however, her cousin tried to go back to the hospital where she received the abortion to get proof from the doctor who performed the surgery that she did not in fact have a child. But when he returned to the planned birth office, it was too late. The girl had already been sterilized.
After she was sterilized, her husband rejected her with the justification of what good is a chicken who cannot lay an egg? She was beaten and tortured by him and has tried repeatedly to commit suicide but, without government approval, her tubes cannot be reconnected and she can never have children again.
The image of an aborted 7 1/2-month-old fetus requires no explanation.
This is Jianjing's Central Women's Hospital. Every month, more than 100 abortions are performed here. Ironically, however, it was nominated by the World Health Organization as being a baby-friendly hospital.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much. I'd like to now ask Mrs. Gao if she would begin her testimony.
GAO XIAO DUAN, FORMER ADMINISTRATOR, PLANNED BIRTH CONTROL OFFICE, PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
Ms. GAO. [via interpreter] My name is Gao Xiao Duan and I am a citizen of the People's Republic of China. I left China in April of this year.
From 1984 to 1998, I was employed at the planned birth office in Yonghe Town, Jinjiang Municipality, in Fujian Province. This is my work card. My job as the administrator was to implement a planned-birth policy pursuant to the documents of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, the State Council, and the Fujian Province planned birth regulations as well as according to the local conditions of Yonghe Town. Yonghe Town has a jurisdiction of 22 administrative villages with a total population of about 60,000 people.
Page 17 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The Yonghe Town planned birth office was established in 1984. Initially it was staffed with two members with an office in the government office building in the town. By 1998, its staff had grown to 16 cadres. The headquarter-based staff are supported by 22 full-time and part-time cadres working in the smaller towns. Now the planned birth office has its own building. Since planned birth is China's basic national policy, from the Central Planned Birth Committee right down to every single village in the nation, it is zealously carried out by full-time cadres, with both the party and government top officials personally responsible.
My work at the planned birth office included establishing a computer data bank of all the women of childbearing age in the town, which includes over 10,000 women, including their dates of birth, marriage, situation, children, contraceptive ring insertion, pregnancies, abortions, and childbearing capabilities. I also issue birth-allowed certificates, which she was holding up right here, to women who meet the policy and regulations of the Central and Provincial Planned Birth Committees and are, therefore, allowed to give birth to children. Without a certificate, women are not allowed to give birth to children. Should a woman be found pregnant without a certificate, an abortion is performed immediately, regardless of how many months pregnant she is.
I have an example of this. This case about a Miss Chen Li-Ren who was a female resident of a village outside of Yonghe Town. In 1996, she became pregnant, in spite of the fact that she was not married and did not have a certificate. It's a violation of the planned birth policy to become pregnant without a birth-allowed certificate. To avoid heavy monetary penalties and abortion, she, in order to save the child's life, when she was 3 months pregnant, left the town.
But when she was 9 months pregnant, somebody informed on her. The planned birth enforcement team of Yonghe Town began searching for her. They were unable to find her, so they tore down her husband's family's house and then threatened to also tear down the house of her parents. One day, when she was at her parents' house, the enforcement team officials forced their way into the house. They found her and took her immediatelystuffed her into a car and escorted her to the Jinjiang Municipality Planned Birth Induced Delivery Center where the abortion was performed.
Page 18 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC This is the document that we issue to people who already have given birth to a son. It's the birth-not-allowed notices. Such notices are sent to the couple when the data concludes that they do not meet the requirement of the policy and are not allowed to have any further children. Any couple who has already given birth to a son will receive this notice and such notices are made public. The purpose of this is to make it known to everyone that the couple, if they are having a second child, is in violation of the policy, therefore, facilitating supervision of the couple. We also issue control device inspection and pregnancy test notices.
According to the specific data on each woman, every woman of childbearing age is notified that she has to have a contraceptive device reliability and pregnancy examinations when necessary. Should she fail to present herself in a timely manner for these examinations, she will not only be forced to pay a fine, but our supervision team will apprehend her and force her to have such an examination. This is the document that we issue to women who must undergo sterilization or birth control measures. It's a birth control measures implementation notice.
These are two cases which I personally handled. This is a document where I authorized the sterilization of Mrs. Yao of Yonghe Township because she already had two girls. And this is another notice that I signed on November 28, 1996, authorizing the sterilization of Mrs. Shao. They already had one boy and one girl and, according to regulations, she must be sterilized.
We also imposed monetary penalties on those who violated central and provincial regulations. If they refused to pay the penalties, our supervision team members would apprehend and detain them until they paid such fines. We have two examples.
This is a Mr. and Mrs. Lin. They had one girl several years later and, according to regulations, she could have another child. But several years later they then adopted a son, but they were then informed upon and then Mrs. Lin was taken to be sterilized.
This is Mr. and Mrs. Tsai in the Younghe Township and Shanquian Village. They were married in 1987, but since they were infertile, in 1991 they adopted a girl and this was legal. But in 1997 they also adopted a boy which was not legal. So the Tsai's were fined 6,000 RMB and also the planned birth official of their village was also fined 1,000 RMB.
Page 19 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The planned birth office also regularly supervises and examines how staff members of planned birth offices in the 22 administrative villages perform their duties. The municipal planned birth committee often sends random groups to the villages for fear that local cadres could cooperate with the villagers or that a local backlash would develop against the cadres to conscientiously carry out their duties.
We also write monthly synopses of planned birth reports which are signed by the town government as well as the Communist party of the township level. Then they're submitted to the municipal people's government and the Communist party committee. We must also be prepared for spot checks by cadres from our superior department.
We also analyze informant materials submitted in accordance with the informing system and then put these cases on file for investigation. Some materials are not conclusive, but planned birth cadres are responsible for their villages and, to avoid being criticized and punished by their superiorsthere's a very strict system of encouragement and punishmentthey will resort to anything to achieve planned birth goals set by their superiors.
This is my administrative implementation ID. It means that she can go and actually implement the policies, her ID card. Whenever the planned birth office calls for organizing planned birth supervision teams, town government and Communist party officials will immediately order all organizations, including public security, the courts, the finance departments, and the economic departments to select cadres and organize them into these teams. They are then sent to villages or areas where problems are expected either for routine door-to-door checking or for swift checking of local violators.
Supervision teams are makeshift and, to avoid leaks, cadres do not know which village they will be sent to until the last minute. Planned birth supervision teams usually exercise night raids, encircling suspected households with lightening speed. They also exercise night raids and they encircle the houses in order to keep people from escaping.
Page 20 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC There are a few problems that are associated with these planned birth supervision teams. The first one is with regard to the tearing down of houses. No document explicitly allows dismantling of a violator's house, but to the best of my knowledge this practice not only exists in our province, but in rural areas in other provinces as well.
I have two examples. The first one is in Yonghe Village in Bochu town. Mr. and Mrs. Lin were married in 1992, and then they had two girls which were out of the plan. In October 1995, their house was torn down and Mr. Lin was detained in a detention center and, in November 1995, he was sterilized.
Another example is in Zhoukeng Town. Another Lin family. They were married in 1988. Their son was born in 1989. According to regulations she had an IUD inserted, but the IUD was not in the correct place and she subsequently became pregnant again. In order to avoid having an abortion, she hid out until her son was born. However, in October 1995, the work team sent a bulldozer to tear down their house, as well as their brother's house. And, in May 1996, Mrs. Lin was sterilized.
There are also problems associated with apprehending and detaining violators. Most planned birth offices in Fujian Province's rural areas have their own detention facilities. In our town, the facility is right next door to my office. It has one room for males and one room for females, each with a capacity of about 25 to 30 people. To catch violators, our planned birth office does not need consent by the courts, the judicial departments, or the public security departments. Our actions are completely independent of them. There are no paperwork formalities and there are no time limits associated with the detention. Detainees pay 8 RMB per day for food. They are not allowed to make phone calls or to mail letters.
The majority of the detainees are, of course, either women who are pregnant without birth-allowed certificates or women who are to be sterilized or women who have been fined. As I explained previously, if we do not apprehend the women themselves, we detain their family members, such as a father, a mother, a sister, brothers, or their husband. And we detain them until the women themselves come forward to be sterilized or to have an abortion.
Page 21 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC There are also problems with the abortion procedures. According to government regulations, abortion for a pregnancy under 3 months is deemed artificial abortion. And, if the pregnancy exceeds 3 months, it is called induced delivery. In our town, an average of 10 to 15 abortions are performed monthly and, of these, about one-third of the pregnancies are exceeding 3 months. For instance, in the first half of 1997, 101 sterilizations were performed, 27 induced deliveries, and 33 artificial abortions.
My husband's name is Zhuang De Shuang. He's the director of the Haihang Garment Factory in Yonghe Town in Jinjiang Municipality. We married in 1983. One year later, we gave birth to our daughter, Zhang Wei Ling. We both love children very much. Unfortunately, because of the pressures of the one-child policy in China, we could not have a second child.
The only thing we could do was to adopt a boy late in 1993 from Northeast China in Harbin. We named him Zhang Wei Peng. This, however, was also in violation of the policy. We had no choice but to secretly keep him in someone else's house for fear of being informed against by others in our town. We instructed the child to never call me mother in the presence of outsiders. Whenever government agencies conducted door-to-door checks, our son had to hide elsewhere. Most of the time he had to stay in our friend's home.
My elder sister and my elder brother's wife, they also have two daughters each. But both of them were sterilized and, because of the sterilization procedure, their health was ruined, making it impossible for them to live and work normally.
I vividly remember one time that I led my subordinates to Yinglin Town Hospital to check on births. I found that two women in Zhoukeng Town had extra-plan births. I led a planned birth supervision team composed of a dozen cadres and public security agents. With sledge hammers and heavy crowbars in hand, we went to Zhoukeng Town and dismantled their houses. We were unable to apprehend the women in the case so we took their mothers in lieu of them and detained them in the planned birth offices detention facility. It wasn't until about a half a month later that the women surrendered themselves to the planned birth office. They were sterilized, fined heavily, and their mothers were finally released. I myself did so many brutal things, but I thought that I was conscientiously implementing the policy of our party and that I was an exemplary citizen and a good cadre.
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Once I found a woman who was 9 months pregnant, but did not have a birth-allowed certificate. According to the policy, she was forced to undergo an induced abortion. In the operating room, I saw the child's lips were moving and how its arms and legs were also moving. The doctor injected poison into its skull and the child died and it was thrown into the trash can. Afterwards the husband was holding his wife and crying loudly and saying, what kind of man am I? What kind of husband am I? I can't even protect my wife and child. Do you have any sort of humanity?
Whenever I saw these things, my heart would break and I felt like to help the tyrant do evils was not what I wanted. I could not bear seeing all these mothers grief-stricken by induced delivery and sterilization. I could not live with this on my conscience because I too am also a mother. These cruel actions are against what I believe in.
All of those 14 years I was a monster in the daytime, injuring others by the Chinese Communist authorities' barbaric planned birth policy. But in the evening I was like all other women and mothers, enjoying my life with my children. I couldn't go on living with such a dual life anymore.
Here to all those injured women and to all those children who were killed, I want to repent and say sincerely that I'm very sorry, sincerely sorry. I want to be a real human being. It is also my sincere hope that what I describe here today can lead you to give your attention to this issue so that you can extend your arms to save China's women and children. Today I'm very happy to have this opportunity to be here and share my story with you. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Gao appears in the appendix.]
Mr. SMITH. Mrs. Gao, thank you for your very moving testimony of shocking and absolutely heartbreaking implementation of the one-child-per-couple family in China and, surely, if it has this impact on someone who was actually part of the implementation, the impact on the women who are the victims every dayand sometimes that's both, implementor and victimhas to be staggering as it relates to women's mental and emotional health.
Page 23 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So I just want to say how moved I am by your testimony. You have performed an international public service by coming forward like this, because, frankly, I've been working this issue since the beginning of the 1980's and I am shocked and dismayed, and have been over the years, by how dismissive many of the politicians, the people at the U.N. Population Fund who are there on the ground, and many others are about the story that you have brought to us today. So, hopefully, the scrutiny and the light that you bring with your testimony will end the two-decade-old coverup, the whitewashing of these crimes against humanity that has been systematically engaged in by a myriad of people who know better, or should know better.
I said in my opening that Dr. Sadik, who is the current executive director of the U.N. Population Fund has said that the Chinese program is, ''totally voluntary.'' She has also said that there's no such thing as a birth approval or a birth-allowed certificate. Doesn't exist. And I have the quotes and the statementsand she told me that herself when I met with her in New York at UNFPA headquarters. It's a figment of everybody's imagination. And yet you've brought actual copies of it. So, again, I think you've performed an absolutely valuable service for humanity by willing to blow the whistle on this horrific violation of women's rights and children's rights and human rights by coming forward today.
Let me also point out that there needs to be action based on the information that you bring. Now that we have information, we have one piece of documentation after another. We can't claim ignorance any more, or look askance, or look the other way, which has been what so many people in government do, especially those who routinely look away from human rights abuses in China.
I noticed in reading over reams of background information that President Jiang Zemin himself criticized family planning cadres for being too lax in 1995, and this was reported by the Foreign Broadcast Information Serviceand extolled them to be more vigorous and dynamic.
Page 24 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Let me just say before I depart to votewe'll take a 5-minute breakthat I met with Peng Peiyun who, until recently, ran the family planning program, for almost 3 hours in Beijing. She categorically denied that there was any coercion, doesn't happen. Again, a figment of our imagination and, again, you, having worked for 14 years in the system have brought to light that this is a big lie that has been utilized by the Chinese Government and by Peng Peiyun, by Jiang Zemin, and others. Li Peng said the same thing in a meeting that Mr. Wolf of Virginia and I had with him. Coercion is non-existent, he said to us when we met with him for about an hour.
So, hopefully, those myths are shattered once and for all. Those who believe that forced abortion is not part and parcel of the Chinese program are in the same league as those who said the Holocaust never happened in Nazi Germany and it's about time we focused on the truth and then we let the truth invigorate us to take bold and strong stances against this horrific practice. So I'm going to thank you, Mrs. Gao, for being a whistleblower, in bringing this information to the Committee and, hopefully by extension, to the country and the world.
The Subcommittee will take a 5-minute recess.
Mr. SMITH. The Subcommittee will resume its sitting and, Mrs. Zhou, I would ask if you would present your testimony at this point.
STATEMENT OF ZHOU SHIU YON, COERCIVE POPULATION CONTROL VICTIM
Ms. ZHOU. My name is Zhou Shiu Yon. I come from Fujian in China. I was born on August 5, 1973. My parents are Zhou Hai Guan and Chen Yi Jiao. On June 15, 1993, I caught a ship in Guangzhou and fled to the United States.
May 1993, when I was 19, I was found to be pregnant. We were both so happy and went to the government office to get legal paperwork for our marriage. We were refused because I was under 20. Later the government found I was pregnant. Feeling sick, I go to the hospital. The doctor who examined me reported my apparent pregnancy to the government. As I had no legal paper for marriage and no government-approved birth-allow documents, my baby was illegal and I could not have a baby.
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The government sent many soldiers to my home. I heard a group of men at the door. So I know it was the government soldier who had come to take me away for abortion. I hid in my room. Five men came to my door and broke it down. One of the men stayed outside as a guard. One is inside my room. They grabbed me and handcuffed me, then they took me to the hospital. They locked me up for hours in a small room in the hospital.
They gave me a pill and they were to come back in about 30 minutes with a shot. They forced me to swallow the pill, but I escaped the shots. My boyfriend knew I was locked up. He gave 1,000 to a nurse for her to open the window. She opened the window and I jumped out. Then my boyfriend took me by a car straight to Guangzhou. We wanted the baby very much. We paid 5,000 to get on a ship. I hope that by leaving China I would be able to find a safe place to give birth to my baby.
On June 15, 1993, when I left for the United States, I was 2 months pregnant. Because of sea sickness and sickness related to my pregnancy, I was unconscious most of my time on the ship and ate very little. When I was arrested by the U.S. Government on July 19, 1993, I did not clearly understand what was happening to me. I lost my baby in a San Diego hospital. I had been carrying it for 3 months. I was so sorry that I was in poor health and lost my first baby. I kept thinking, I lost my child.
When I was in hometown in China, I saw how many pregnant women were hiding anywhere they could. Some of them were 9 months pregnant, but were forced to have an abortion just the same simply because they had no birth-allow assignment. The government dismantled the houses of some of them and made them homeless. The government-planned birth policy is very stern. In my town, I saw how many women were looking for a place to hide at night because the government usually catches people at night.
All this made me terrified, even here in the United States, I was scared. I could say nothing about the Chinese Government because, if I said I was persecuted by the Chinese Government for violating its planned birth policy and fled to the United States, the Chinese Government would persecute my family members. On the other hand, I do not know whether I will stay in this free country or I will be repatriated back to China. That was why, on some occasions, I said I fled China because my parents turned me out and other occasions I say I fled because my boyfriend did not want the baby.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The fact that it was my first baby was the reason I left. I was so happy when I was carrying it and kept thinking I was going to be a mother. That was why I decided to turn to the sea, to flee somewhere just to keep my baby. I was so sorry when I learned my baby was gone.
Thank you. Thank you, my American friends. They love me. Among them is a prison officer, Ruth Williams, Mr. and Mrs. Palmquist, and Mr. and Mrs. Peterson. They led me to our Lord. Now my family members know I am in the United States. After Chinese guys took money from them and they lost more than 5,000 American dollars, a few days ago they say they're happy to hear me on the phone, everything will be OK. Keep on going.
If my baby had lived, he would be almost five today. I hope that I can give a baby again. I wish I can be a mother sometime in the future. I pray for years. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Zhou appears in the appendix.]
Mr. SMITH. Ms. Zhou, thank you for your testimony and I deeply regret that our own government, the U.S. Government, has been so unsympathetic to your personal plight and to the plight of others who have been similarly abused by the Chinese Government right down to the local cadre, and when you escaped what you thought was to freedom here, found yourself inside a detention center, in your case, for over 4 years. I think it's an outrage that we, as a government, have not been more empathetic, more generous, and I apologize on behalf of the U.S. Government that we have so mistreated you, compounding the egregious mistreatment that you received at the hand of the cadres.
I would point out for the record that Mr. Hyde and I were able to, as I think you know, change the asylum law, after it was reversed by administrative order by the Clinton Administration when it came into office, reversing the Reagan and Bush policy of providing a well-founded fear of persecution for those who flee forced abortion or forced sterilization. That is now law and hopefully will be faithfully implemented. But I think the fact that your case still remains unresolved is a black mark against our own government.
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I'd like to ask Mr. Harry Wu if now he would present his testimony.
STATEMENT OF HARRY HONGDA WU, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, LAOGAI RESEARCH FOUNDATION
Mr. Wu. Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, I focus on this birth control policy year after year and I know that you made a big contribution on this issue. I am very happy today with the two Chinese native women and native victims who are using this opportunity to deliver our concern to find out what's going on with you. Because it has been 20 years since the People's Republic of China, which has 22 percent of the world's population, started implementing this so-called population control policyor you can say it is a planned birth policy, PBPin mainland China.
For years, not only the Chinese Government scholars, also quite a number of the western scholars and government officials have had little but praise for this policy. They're talking about Chinese economy, talking of development, talking about birth control, it means to them this is very important in human societies in the policy or something. In spite of many appalling facts, these people think that Chinese fundamental national policy is correct in the main and that the Chinese Communist leaders are responsive and that their policy is basically in keeping with the interests of the people, that population control in China has significance for progress and development not only in China, but throughout the whole world.
And today I'm going to explain the essence of the fundamental national policy. Before I want to explain this national policy, I want to say, to give a birth is a basic human right. No government organizations or individual can deprive a person of his or her right of reproduction for political, social, economic, cultural, ethical, or any other reasons.
The Chinese national policy said in 1991, this is a long-term policy of our nation to carry out birth planning, control the population growth, and improve the population quality. If we want to become a prosperous country, we definitely have to control the population. And then this document said, to successfully carry out planned birth work, each party committee must establish leadership team for population and planned birth work with an important person heading up this team and, with a group cooperate with each associated department. And she went a little bit further, she said, we have to establish a system of a reward and punishment. So when you heard the story about the punishment or torture or these terrible things, it comes from the central government.
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Now, let me quote another document from local government. The local government from Quanzhou City, the document is talking about the different departments and how to work together to implement the Fujian Province planned birth regulations. OK. For example, the Transportation Department is not allowed to issue driving licenses to those who violate the birth-control policy. OK. Department of Finance, to ensure development of birth controlplanned birth work should not allow any loan given to these people who violate planned birth control policy. Agricultural Department not allowed to approve any land for these people who violate planned birth policies.
You see, all the departments joined together against the humans who want to have a baby. So this entity, the Chinese Communist Party, has declared a war upon the very act of giving life. Because this is a one-vote veto policy, it means if you violate so-called planned birth policy, no driving license, no passport, no house, no job, no bank loaning, nothing. And those people is not really like your political application, like dissidents. It isn't like the people want to involve the religious behavior. It is very, very natural for a single woman. They just want a baby, but without the birth permit from the government, not allowed to have a baby.
Do you find any place in the world where a person has to get a permit from a government to have a baby? Without a permit, they can force you to have an abortion, they can destroy your house, they can fine you, and they can detain your parents, your husband, waiting for you to come back for abortion and sterilization. And this policy applies to all the women and all the families in China.
Here is a management chart. This comes from Yonghe Town. This came from Mrs. Gao Xiao Duan. I want to itemize and describe to you. Yonghe Town planned birth management chart. Legal marriage: if the woman have legal marriage. You have to get the certificate and every quarter are subject to inspection of pregnancy. If you're late for appointment, every day 50 yuans fined. If over 1 month, 2,000 yuan fine. Because in her office there's a computer system. They know when is your period, when your pregnancy. If you don't go on the time, you got big trouble.
Page 29 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC After your first baby, the first month, you have to register your baby in the police station. If more than 1 month passes without a registration, sterilization is required. After you delivered the baby, in the next 2 months you have to insert the IUD. If the second month passes and no IUD has been inserted, sterilization is required.
If you do have IUD in your womb, every quarter the government will inform you, notice you, and you have to go to the office of inspection. If you do not appear, you pay the fine, 50 yuans, every day. If over 1 month, the fine is 2,000 yuans. If 6 months passes, there has been no IUD inspection; then sterilization is required.
If the first baby is male, in the fourth month, the subject must obtain a single-child certificate. If 4 months pass and no such certificate has been obtained, sterilization is required. If the first baby is a female, you have to right away insert IUD and, if you want to have a second baby, you have to wait for another 38 months.
Now there is that line right here. So-called early marriage. It means the woman is, the age is under 20 and the man is the age of 22. You don't have a marriage certificate. Of course, you would not get a birth certificate. And if they find you pregnant, they will fine you 10,000 yuan and right away ask for abortion and sterilization. They call this early pregnancy. This is the policy applied to every woman in China.
Maybe the situation in a large city like Shanghai, Quanzhou, may be a little bit different, but we do have to know 75 percent of the people today are living in the countryside. This is why, you know, it is out of the people's imagination. That includes me myself. Because I was native Chinese, in the past 40-some years, we always were encouraged by the Communist party to inform on so-called counter-revolutionaries, and inform these criminals. And the police, public security police, always take action, at midnight, surround, and try to capture these counter-revolutionary criminals.
Today in China, they have a law enforcement team, just like Mrs. Gao was one of them. They set up informing system. The policy said, strengthen leadership and raise awareness. You know, in each individual town, the planned birth office will publicly post a new marriage and birth situation for each single woman and then establish informing network. For example, there's an article here which said, those who report a case for extra-plan pregnancies and carry out reminding measures will be awarded 400 yuan. So, in China, if you inform someone has an extra baby, you will get money. So that's why I say the government today has declared a war against humanity.
Page 30 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We are talking about destroyed people's house. We saw many reports from different provinces and the Chinese central government denied it. Maybe it's happened in local government and those local Communist cadres are responsible for these events. Now we have the document right here. For example, in Yonghe Town, in Yingdun Village, a couple has two babies and then intend to have a third child. And this is illegal in China. They run away, but the government captured their father and put him in the detention center for 4 months in March 1995. And the couple still didn't come back to surrender. And then they destroyed their house. Finally they captured the wife and sterilized her and also fined her 4,000 yuans.
I asked Mrs. Gao, do you think you have full power to arrest someone? And she saidand also I say, can the public security or the court system complain to you? She said, no, we are No. 1. What do you mean No. 1? Because the court, Transportation Department, Public Security Department, Agriculture Department, Financial Department, all these government organizations have to support planned birth policy. So we don't need any advice or any paperwork from the court. We can do anything we want.
Adoption in China also is a big problem. Except some people, it is true, they'd never have a child and then they think they can apply for adoption. Here is a case. In Bantou Village in Yonghe Town, Mr. and Mrs. Chai, they have first boy. So they also have a contract with the government, not going to have any second baby. Mrs. Chai in this town is wealthy and very good reputation. But one early morning, they find a baby girl on their doorstep. But she doesn't know how to handle it. She cannot pick up the girl. So finally they pick up the girl. And the government fined 20,000 and forced the woman to have sterilization.
If you don't have a certificate for a birth in China, if they catch you, no matter how many months your pregnancy, they force you to have sterilization and abortion. And some people are talking about, say, maybe in this individual case or some rural area, obscure area, or this happen in local government.
Page 31 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Let me show you one document. This is statistics from Yonghe Town, June 1997. Yonghe Town controls 22 villages. The total population is 65,163. That includes 12,974 women who married and possibly have a child. It means, like 13,000. And this information says 12,000 of them, means 93.7 percent of the women already have a kind of planned birth control measure. That means 2,300 of the women already insert IUD. Metal ring in their womb. And 9,694 of the 12,000 women subject to sterilization. That means 75 percent of the women in this town sterilized. How many of them voluntarily want to accept the sterilization? I don't know. But I think 95 percent of them are forced to sterilize. And this small town has, on the average, 10 to 15 forced abortions and half of them actually the pregnancy's over 4 months.
This is killing policy. This is murder policy. Today in the United States, two teenagers are facing the death penalty as they were charged with the murder of their newborn baby. When the child was born, they crushed its skull and threw it into the trash. Every American felt repulsed by this story. But what about the Chinese Communist Government? It will happen today in China and everywhere in China. Millions of women, millions of babies, subject to this policy every day.
Let me say in this way: If Chinese planned birth policy continues into the next two decades, along with the economic development, China will become a kind of prosperous country. I have two questions. First, what is the cost we pay for that kind of prosperity? How many babies murdered? How many women wounded? How many families destroyed? Do we want that kind of prosperity? Yes, maybe it is a kind of prosperity, but this is materialistic prosperity. This country is spiritually very, very poor. This country only builds on Communist regime control and maybe some have money, maybe some people become rich, but in ethics, in human rights, in humanity, this country was destroyed. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Wu appears in the appendix.]
Mr. SMITH. Mr. Wu, thank you for your extraordinary testimony and for the vital service you've provided in helping Mrs. Gao escape China.
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Let me ask a number of questionsand I will submit some for the recordbut I would like to begin. One of the things that many found to be appalling was that in the early 1980's, the United Nations presented China, as it was going through a high-tide period and many women were being forcibly aborted en masse, the United Nations gave them an excellence in population award.
Former New York Times reporter, Pranay Gupte, in his book ''The Crowded Earth'' said, and this is a quote from him, ''I met the population minister in his office in Beijing and he immediately launched into an appreciation of what the U.N.'s award meant to him and to the Chinese. The award had, as the minister put it, put the imprimatur of the world body on China's family planning effort.''
Wei Jingsheng, when he testified before our Subcommittee after his release, said that when the United Nations was seen working side by side with the oppressors, those who murder the babies and injure the women and break the families, to quote Mr. Wu, when they saw that, they were appalled that the U.N. Population Fund would have a hand-in-glove relationship with the oppressor rather than with the oppressed.
I mentioned this earlier and I think it bears repeating. The current executive director of the U.N. Population Fund, who has been on the scene for many, many years now, and her predecessor, Dr. Sadik have said repeatedly that the Chinese program is purely voluntary and, Mrs. Gao, if you would respond to this as well, that there is, and I quote, ''there is no such thing as a license to have a birth.'' How do you respond when the world body and its specialized agency is in league with the oppressor rather than standing with the oppressed? And how do you respond to this statement, which I believe to be patently false, but I await your comment, that there's no such thing as birth license?
Ms. GAO. [via interpreter] She said anybody who goes to have a marriage certificate then will go to the family planning office and fill out the forms to receive the birth permit certificate and we issue it at that time and it's put in a little red plastic folder for them to carry around.
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SMITH. Is this countrywide or just in Fujian Province?
Ms. GAO. [via interpreter] She said she can't say for all of China, but she does know that in Szechuan and Anhui Provinces that they also have a similar system where you must have a birth-allowed certificate.
Mr. SMITH. Is this a new policy or has this been in existence for some time?
Ms. GAO. [via interpreter] She said in the urban areas she knows that they had that system starting from the start of the policy of 1979 and 1980, however in their area, which is a more rural area, she said it was either the end of 1990 or the beginning of 1991 when they began using these birth permit forms.
Mr. SMITH. In January of this year, the U.N. Population Funds' deputy executive director said that the Chinese Government is, quote, ''keen to move away from its administrative approach.'' That it wants the program to be based on free and voluntary choice. Is there any evidence that that's true? That the government is easing up?
Ms. GAO. [via interpreter] She's not seen anything to indicate that or to indicate that any woman willingly goes to be sterilized.
Mr. SMITH. I would just add, I'll never forget in 1985 when the story broke and all of a sudden, after the Washington Post carried it's three-part expose, people were scrambling to somehow justify their past support for the Chinese program. We had a hearing of the Foreign Affairs Committee and at that point some academics and others all said all the abuses are past or largely past and behind us, and that it was pretty much smooth sailing ahead. We know that that's not true. The evidence that has been coming forward suggests that after Tiananmen Square it got demonstrably worse, but it got worse even after 1985.
Let me ask a second question to Mrs. Gao or Ms. Zhou or Mr. Wu. On last night's Nightline, an American anthropologist stated that Mrs. Gao's experiences in her township in Fujian Province might not be representative because Fujian is known as a province in which enforcement of the family planning policy is particularly harsh. On the other hand, the U.S. State Department advisory opinions on asylum cases say that most asylum cases from Fujian were unfounded because the birth control laws were very loosely enforced in that province. These statements are obviously contradictory and it seems as if it's a moving target.
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Fujian is the province where most Chinese boat people come from. For years, most of their forced-abortion asylum claims have been rejected because the policy is supposedly enforced very loosely there. Now that we have absolute proof that the policy is strictly enforced in that province, we hear that this is not really representative of China at all because Fujian is famous for its strict enforcement. Which version is true?
Mr. Wu. I'm going to take that question. My view is Fujian Province I want to say is the central government control is looser than any other province except Guandong. Actually the birth control policy is looser. So that means the other province, so far as I know, like Anhui, Szechuan, Hunan, Hubei, that means these control, the planned birth control policy, is more harsher than Fujian because Fujian people can escape and they can even get on the boat to sail to Taiwan and sneak to other countries. And the inland provinces, there's almost no way to escape. So more harsher than Fujian.
Ms. GAO. [via interpreter] She said she feels like the situation in China is actually becoming worse. Before she left China in March of this year, she attended a monthly planning meeting in Quanzhou City and, in this meeting, they orally indicated that part of the policy would be changingin the past anyone who was caught without a marriage certificate, for example, what they would call an early marriage, an early birth, in the past only one of the couple would be sterilized. But they said that the policy would be changing where both people would be sterilized in the future.
And she said that she stood up in the meeting and said, well, you can't just give us an oral policy, you need to give us a written policy so that we can carry it out. And he said, yes, there will be a written document coming down indicating this policy change.
She also mentioned an article which I'm not sure about, about a problem in Guandong and I don't know if you heard that
Mr. Wu. She mentioned the article from the World Journal reporting that in Guandong Province, the Chinese officials destroyed a couple's house because they have a 7-month pregnancy and violate the birth control policy. So she said this is not only happening in our provinces, it's nationwide.
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SMITH. Let me just underscore the point. The State Department guidance that goes to immigration judges with regard to asylum claims and country conditions points outand I quote directly from the guidance''Fujian Province's lax enforcement of family planning rules have been criticized in the official press.'' Last night, again, on Nightline, the anthropologistI guess the expertwas saying that it is stricter in Fujian Province, not the other way around. And yet the official guidance, again, coming out of the U.S. Government has said the enforcement is lax. It seems whenever scrutiny is brought to bear on any given area, all of a sudden that's the exception to the rule rather than the rule itself.
Let me ask our panel, do you knowand Mrs. Gao, you might want to answer thisdo you know of any government official or employee ever being punished for being too harsh in applying the family planning policies, in other words, forcing a woman to have an abortion? Again, when I, on two occasions, met with family planning officials, including Peng Peiyun, they claimed that people, if they step over the line and coerce a woman, they are punished. And I asked for documentation of anywhere in China where a cadre or a family planning leader was punished for using coercion. The only punishment that I have seen on record is a family planning cadre being punished for being too loose, for allowing a woman to have the baby, despite the one-child-per-couple policy. Mrs. Gao.
Ms. GAO. [via interpreter] She said that she's never heard of any cases like that of officials being punished. She said that officials since they consider that this is the basic national policy, they have the power, because they have their, you know, their identification cards, they have this power to go out and enforce the policy in the way that they see fit. And that they don't have to worry about being punished for over-enforcement of the policy.
Mr. Wu. Let me say something also. I think it's clear we present to this hearing, there's a serious document to tell you that the central government is responsible for all these crimes. For example, the local village these cadres have to sign a contract. If they not really implement the contract, they will receive a punishment, which is very clear. It's from the provincial document and from the national document. If you want to say someone have to subject to punish, I think the person should be Jiang Zemin, Li Peng, and Peng Pei-Yung. They are real criminals.
Page 36 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SMITH. Mrs. Gao, what happens to a family planning cadre who does not aggressively meet their birth targets and does not effectively implement the one-child-per-couple policy?
Ms. GAO. [via interpreter] They'll be criticized and they'll be fined and possibly fired. They'll be criticized and possibly suspended.
Mr. SMITH. Mrs. Zhou, during your 4 1/2 years in detention here in the United States, were you tempted to return to China? Did the U.S. Government officials ever urge you to do so? And, why did you not return?
Ms. ZHOU. [via interpreter] She said that the American officials had asked her to go back, but she wasn't willing to go back because she felt that if she did go back that she would be arrested or somehow detained and then also it would create problems for her family as well.
Mr. SMITH. Mrs. Gao, let me ask you again, reading from the profile of asylum claims, the country conditions, put out by the U.S. Department of State for the INS judges. There's a paragraph that reads, ''the central government does not authorize physical force to make people submit to abortion or sterilization, but there are reports that this continues to occur in some rural areas.''
Mr. Wu a moment ago just said that Jiang Zemin, Li Peng, and Peng Peiyun are the criminals, they're the ones who should be held responsible for this. You indicated in your testimony that this is a top-to-bottom process. Michael Weisskopf, again, not to belabor the point, but back in 1985 pointed out that publicly the Chinese officials always have plausible deniability. They say they don't want anything to do with coercion, but then a closer look reveals that everything is in place to result, as a consequence, in coercion.
Ms. GAO. [via interpreter] She feels it's not just a local policy. In fact, every month they have to submit reports to the city planned birth office, then the city planned birth office submits it to the Quanzhou city office, then to the provincial level, then to the central level. And she said they often have inspections conducted by people from Jinjiang City or Quanzhou City and even from the central level of government who are constantly coming to inspect their offices and inspect their work.
Page 37 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Wu. Congressman.
Mr. SMITH. Yes, Mr. Wu.
Mr. Wu. I think in the United States, no one, including your parents, can force you to insert an IUD. But today many Chinese women have IUD. Would you ask Chinese President, say, are these women voluntarily willing to insert IUD? How many are forced by the government? Is this a government policy? And I just told you that in this small town 75 percent of the women, married women, possibly pregnant women, already have been sterilized. Sterilized. Who did it? This is not a one or two single case, this is all the way from the top to the bottom, come to the planned birth policy and that policy was already implemented more than 20 years now. Thank you.
Mr. SMITH. Mr. Rees.
Mr. REES. Mrs. Gao, just to follow up on something the chairman said, suppose that there was a woman who was pregnant and had an unauthorizedshe did not have a birth-allowed certificate and youa family planning official talked with her and said, you really ought to have an abortion. And she said, no, I will not have an abortion. I don't believe in it. I want the child. And the family planning official said, after a long conversation, OK, it's up to you. It's your choice. What would happen to that family planning official? Would anything happen?
Ms. GAO. [via interpreter] They'll be fired.
Mr. REES. OK. So I want to read the next sentence from what the chairman read. This is our government's official assessment, of the Chinese program. And they say that, ''The government does not authorize physical force to make people submit to abortion. Chinese officials acknowledge privately that forced abortions and sterilizations still occur in areas where family planning personnel may be uneducated and ill-trained. On balance,'' and, again, this is our government's conclusion, it appears that, quote, ''better supervision of family planning workers, demographic factors, and China's success at deterring unauthorized pregnancies have together reduced the number of forced abortions and sterilizations from the levels in the early and mid1980's.''
Page 38 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Is it true that the central government, as our government seems to believe, does not want you to do forced abortions? That that's just a mistake at the local level?
Ms. GAO. [via interpreter] She said that the central government equates family planningor gives family planning policy the same importance as the economic development policy of China.
She said about two-thirds of government resources, that government people are spending their time working on planning.
Mr. REES. Are you aware of any training that's being given to local cadres to try to teach them that they shouldn't force people to have abortions?
Ms. GAO. [via interpreter] She said that the policy, it originally is a forced policy to begin with so there is no training. I mean, she's never heard of anything like that.
Mr. REES. Ms. Zhou, I want to begin by saying that, in July 1993, when you were on that boat off the coast of San Diego, I was the general counsel, the chief lawyer for the Immigration and Naturalization Service. And so I guess I'm a recovering immigration official.
As I recall, everybody else on that boat and two other boats, were sent back directly to China through Mexico. You were only saved because you had this terrible illness and you had to be flown in for medical reasons.
Ms. ZHOU. Yes.
Mr. REES. So I've kept up with your case. I actually resigned from the INS during that time and tried to follow the cases of some of the Chinese boat people. And I've followed your case a little bit and Congressman Smith wrote a letter on your behalf about a year ago trying to get you out of detention and it is wonderful to be able to welcome you to freedom.
Page 39 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But I want to ask a question and I hope it won't be embarrassing for you because it's about your asylum case and we plan to keep on following up on this case. As I understand, the reason that you were denied at first was because, under the government's interpretation of the asylum law, even if you really were telling the truth about fleeing a forced abortion, you were not regarded as a refugee, you were just regarded as an ordinary lawbreaker. You wanted to break the government's family planning law, so that wasn't considered to be political persecution if they punished you.
But after the amendment that was passed to restore the former policy that Congressman Hyde and Congressman Smith's amendment, the law changed so that if the government believed your story that you were fleeing a forced abortion, that that's why you fled China, then they should have granted you asylum.
Now as I understand, the reason that they didn't give you asylum even after the law changed is that they said that you had told inconsistent stories. They said that when you first came into the country, you didn't say you were afraid of the government. You said that you fled because your boyfriend didn't want the baby, and you've talked about that here today. And so they say, since she changed her story, we're not going to believe her when she says she was afraid of the government. Can you tell us why you first said that it was just your boyfriend you were afraid of and then later you said it was the government?
Ms. ZHOU. [via interpreter] She said, at the beginning I was afraid to say anything against the Chinese Government. But even though in my heart I was crying because it wasn't the truth. But now I feel like I have to tell the truth and I want to, you know, make it clear that I'm in the right.
Mr. REES. Why were you afraid to say anything bad about the Chinese Government?
Ms. ZHOU. [via interpreter] Because I was afraid what they would do to my family and to my boyfriend.
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. REES. Can I ask you whether, in the course of your immigration proceedings, they gave you a chance to explain why you had changed your story, just as we have given here today?
Ms. ZHOU. [via interpreter] She said, no, she wasn't given an opportunity and they probably felt that it was too late for her to change her story.
Mr. REES. OK. There's one other question I want to ask Mrs. Gao and it's a very sensitive issue and I apologize for raising it, but about 3 years ago, in a Hong Kong newspaper, there was a terrible, shocking story interviewing people anonymously who claimed to work in family planning centers in China that there was actually a market that some family planning employees would sell the aborted babies, the aborted fetuses, to be used as a sort of a health food for certain people who thought that this would make them strong or restore their youth. Have you heard about anything like that happening? Do you know of anything like that in your personal experience?
Ms. GAO. [via interpreter] She's not heard of fetuses, but she does know that there's actually a very strong market for the afterbirth
Mr. REES. Right.
Ms. GAO. [via interpreter] and that the physicians usually are fighting over it, who can get it, and then because they can make money, they can sell it as a health remedy and then, you know, and earn some extra money.
Mr. REES. I see.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much, Mr. Rees. Let me just ask one final question. Many of us argued that the women's conference, which was held in Beijing a couple of years ago under the auspices of the United Nations, should have had a different venue, some other country because of forced abortion and because of other human rights abuses that the Chinese Government has engaged in.
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC While I was there, I co-led the delegation that went to Beijing and stayed there the better part of a week. I couldn't help but notice that the Chinese newspapers made it look as if the whole world had made its way to Beijing to applaud the great strides that China had made in the area of human rights and women's rights, while the other newspapers, including Hong Kong and American and British and other newspapers, took the Chinese to task for many of its practices: its exclusion of Tibetan women, the forced abortion issue, and many others.
At your level, how was the women's conference received? Was it seen an affirmation of Chinese Government's work in the area of women's issues? Or did the criticism somehow get through to you as well?
Ms. GAO. [via interpreter] Yes, she did get to see a few articles from the States that were critical of the family planning policy, but she also went to say that she felt like the policy was becoming even stricter than in the past. It's getting worse.
Mr. SMITH. Let me conclude with one final question. What in your opinion should be response by the U.S. Government, by the United Nations, and other interested governments to the plight of women in China as it relates to this policy? Mr. Wu, if you wanted to answer that as well.
Ms. GAO. [via interpreter] She feels like America, as well as other countries, should encourageor should ask China to stop this cruel policy and allow these innocent families and women and children some peace.
Mr. Wu. I wish the scholars from the West, the politicians from the West, tell the truth and don't apply the double standard of human rights. I wish them to stop misleading the people and applauding the Communist leader in China.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Wu. Thank you, Mrs. Gao. And Ms. Zhou, thank you for your excellent testimony. And, just let me conclude this hearing.
You know, my wife and I, Marie, we have four children. One of them is in this room; she's working as an intern. I always try to say, what would happen if I were in someone else's shoes. If we lived in China, Melissa would be here, but Chris, Michael, and Elise would be dead, as a direct result of the one-child-per-couple policy. I think for most Americans, we need to wake upas do most of the people in the Western worldto this shame and the dishonor of a policy and the cruelty of a policy that makes brothers and sisters illegal. I have two older brothers. I can't think of what life would have been without them, growing up. I would have been one of the ones whobecause I'm the youngestwould not have survived.
Page 42 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC It's time that the cover up and the whitewashing by the U.N. Population Fund, by the U.S. Government, by information passed on by our State Department that is riddled with falsehoods, ended. The cover up has to end and I believe, Mrs. Gao, you, perhaps more than anyone else, have helped to shatter the myths that abound and continue to abound.
Mr. Wu just mentioned the importance of people becoming truth tellers. There's always an apologist ready to rush to a camera to say things aren't as bad as, Mrs. Gao, you have pointed out today they really are. And I think we need more light, not less. The closed society known as the PRC needs to open up, but it really is time that this one-child-per-couple policy, which some in the population community would love to see replicated elsewhere be seen for what it is. As a matter of fact, Dr. Sadik said some years ago that China should be proud of its accomplishments and needs to export its expertise in trimming its births and reducing its population to other countries.
God forbid that that happen; that other countries embrace the one-child-per-couple policy. And we know that some have embraced a two- and three-child-per-couple policy. And coercion always is right there as a handy means of enforcing and reaching those targets. It's an outrageous policy and, again, as a whistleblower and truth teller, you are to be commended for your courage in coming forward like this today.
We deeply appreciate all three of our witnesses and I thank you. This hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 1:41 p.m., the Subcommittee adjourned subject to the call of the Chair.]
A P P E N D I X
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