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Human Rights in China: trainwreck

By John E. Carey - posted Monday, 28 May 2007

Amnesty International issued harsh criticism on human rights for almost every nation today: with China the record setter.

TV and print news watchers love a good drunken starlet, a lost whale or an accident that has never seemed to have occurred to anyone before. On May 23 two trains collided in Denver, one loaded with beer and the other with asphalt. What a mess.

But some of the “odd” news is really very serious and important.


On the same day, The Washington Post’s Foreign Service reporter wrote that Chinese people were rioting in southern Bobai, China, 110 miles southeast of Nanning in Guangxi province. The reason for the rioting? The people of Bobai have been flaunting China’s “one-child policy”.

The people of Bobai don’t want to be limited by that policy so they have been ignoring it.

One of the reasons for ignoring “one-child” is deeply cultural. In China, men count a lot more than women. In fact, many families determine the sex of a child before birth and then abort the girl babies.

One reason men are so highly prized is central to the Chinese family (and many other Asian families): the parents have no recourse to nursing homes and huge retirement reserves. The Asian family generally keeps the old family members in the family and at home. You generally need a son or two to make this centuries old custom workable. But the Chinese communist government insists upon holding down the population, which already tops 1.3 billion.

So government functionaries were told to enforce the law in Bobai. Houses were broken into by government service or hired thugs and they went to work extorting fines. Refusal to pay meant your house was damaged or you and your family would be roughed up.

China also has a government program of forced abortions for those considered too prolific.


American women call abortion “choice”. Chinese women usually call abortion forced and government ordered. There is even forced and government ordered sterilization.

Coincidentally, on May 23 again, Amnesty International issued its Report on Human Rights 2007.

Amnesty International had plenty of negative remarks for, well, EVERY nation. But that is pretty much their history and the way they see their role. They skewered the United States as one might expect but they had plenty of evil acts to explain in Russia, Vietnam and elsewhere.

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First published in Peace and Freedom on May 23, 2007.

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About the Author

John E. Carey has been a military analyst for 30 years.

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