In 1998, UNFPA claimed that coercion does not exist in any of its 32 county projects in China. Back then, UNFPA’s stated goal in China was to help the government of China implement the principles of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, which stressed voluntarism in family planning programs. In announcing its latest program in China for 2003-2005, UNFPA claims that it is continuing to promote these same principles, and that an additional 800 counties in China have instituted “aspects of the client-oriented, high-quality, reproductive health approach” it claims existed in its original 32 county project.
UNFPA supports these projects with funding, surgical, and technical support. It also provides free public relations services to the Chinese government by claiming that reform is taking place in China.
New evidence demonstrates that UNFPA’s claims are unfounded. China has passed a new law enforcing family planning and birth limitations. In regions in China where UNFPA operates, local statutes are being implemented to strengthen the central government’s stranglehold on reproductive freedom.
Last month, a team of independent journalists interviewed residents of Korla City, Xinjiang Province, in Western China. Xinjiang is the homeland of China’s Uyghur minority. Korla City is one of county projects in China that UNFPA supports. Here’s what people living in Korla City had to say about China’s coercive population program (1):
During PRI’s September 2001 investigation of UNFPA’s program in China, PRI researchers found that abortion is carried out in urban areas in Xinjiang Province with brute force. Here’s what another birth control official in Korla had to say:
RFA: “I am Radio Free Asia. We heard that the first of January, in 2003, comes a new resolution about birth control policy. Can you give us some information about that?”
Birth Control Officer in Korla City: “It is a new resolution which was made based on the Uyghur region’s condition; it has proceeded since January first, in 2003.”
RFA: “If someone [is] against the plan, what kind punishment will be given for?”
Birth Control Officer in Korla City: “Punishment will be given according to the new resolution. If they hide [a] new born baby they have to pay a social compensation fee.”
RFA: “If someone’s illegal pregnancy is found what will happened?”
Birth Control Officer in Korla City: “We don’t allow her to bear [the] baby.”
RFA: “Your office is proceeding with the new birth control plan?”RFA also interviewed women who have been victimized in this UNFPA county project:
Birth Control Officer 2 in Korla City: “Yes, we received a new birth control plan, the first of January in 2003, and started our job according to the new plan.”
RFA: “If someone is suspected with illegal pregnancy what would happen?”
Birth Control Officer 2 in Korla City: “We forcibly make her abort her child”
RFA: “Does it have to be forced? If she refuse what will be happen?”
Birth Control Officer 2 in Korla City: “Yes, it must be forced. If not, how we can control the population? It is clearly mentioned in our birth control policy.”
RFA: “Usually [do] hospitals explain anything about the risks of IUDs or abortions?”And that’s the way it is, today, in UNFPA’s project in Korla City, where women are rounded up like cattle, and forcibly aborted and sterilized. China’s communist government has been engaged in a genocidal campaign against the Uyghur minority population for years. UNFPA supports this genocide.
Woman: “No. . . . we accept insertion of IUD because we have to do it. Peasants [are] against birth control but government workers [are] not.”
RFA: “Today, how many children are peasants allowed to have?”
RFA: “If they wanted more than three what would happen?”
Woman: “They have to pay [a] heavy fine.”
RFA: “If government workers wanted to have more children, what would happen?”
Woman: “They have to pay [a] heavy fine or they will be fired.”
RFA: “If the government finds out someone is illegally pregnant, in spite of the age of [preborn] baby, will they force her to do abortion?”
Woman: “Yes, pregnant women will be forcibly brought to the hospital by birth control officers. Birth control officials wait for her until the operation is done, because they want to make sure the baby was killed or not.”
RFA: “How do birth control officers find that someone’s pregnancy?”
Woman: “Their job is searching about each family’s private life everyday. They can find out. In case someone had not been [discovered], all responsibility would [go] on birth control officer’s head.”
This January, PRI researchers interviewed officials in China involved in implementing China’s population program of coercive abortions. When asked if UNFPA’s claims about reform taking place in China’s population program are true, these officials said that “These claims are impossible.” PRI has also obtained central documents which state that enforcing China’s population program is a “top priority. . . .everywhere within the borders of the PRC.” Korla City is clearly no exception.
1. Radio Free Asia, “Family Planning in Uyghur Region,” March 17, 2003
(Steven W. Mosher is President of the Population Research Institute, and author of Hegemon: China’s Plan to Dominate Asia and the World.)