Wednesday, 27 June 2012

The Outrage Continues

Feng Jianmei is still recovering in hospital, her husband missing
Chinese officials have totally mismanaged another story that happened around the same time at Tiananmen activist Li Wangyang's "accidental" death -- forcing a woman seven months' pregnant to have an abortion.

The latest now is that two officials in Zhenping county, Shaanxi were sacked yesterday for violating state and provincial government family planning policies when they abducted Feng Jianmei and forced her to have a lethal injection into the fetus she was carrying to induce a late-term abortion.

Her story shocked not only China but the world when a picture of the 23 year old was published with a blood-soaked fetus lying beside her in hospital.

It confirmed that planning officials are still violently enforcing the one-child policy, as Feng was pregnant with what would have been her second daughter but failed to pay the 40,000 RMB ($6,290) fine.

An investigation report confirmed local officials had demanded the 40,000 RMB from Feng's family as a "guarantee deposit", that her Feng's husband Deng Jiyuan said was actually a fine for the second child. The report said the officials had no legal grounds for collecting such "deposits".

The two officials sacked were Jiang Nenghai, chief of the county's family planning bureau and Chen Pengyin, head of Zengjia's township government. Five other officials were given demerits.

However, Deng Jicai, Feng's sister-in-law, wondered why the people who were directly responsible were not punished.

"Jiang is seemingly innocent as he has only just assumed the position," she said, adding that as far as she knew, Jiang was attending another meeting elsewhere at the time and was unaware of the forced abortion.

The other issue is that husband Deng Jiyuan has been missing since Sunday after he was harassed by local officials and thugs because he gave interviews to foreign media about their mistreatment.

His sister said the trouble started when he planned to go to Beijing for a TV and online video interview about the abortion. He was watched, followed and even beaten when he tried several times to leave for the capital. Four or five men even followed him to the toilet.

"They followed us and said they would take us by car wherever we want to go," she said. "We felt like prisoners."

The harassment got worse when the family was interviewed by German weekly magazine Stern on Friday.

On Sunday, some 40 men and women arrived at the hospital and carried two banners that read, "Beat the traitors soundly and expel them from Zengjia township".

"They shouted and shouted, saying we were ungrateful and traitors since the government had promised to solve this matter but we still talked to foreign media," the sister continued. "My cousin, who took pictures of them, was injured, with bruises and scratches all over his body."

Officially the Chinese government is proud of its one-child policy, claiming it has prevented hundreds of millions of people from further populating the earth, doing its part for the world in terms of using resources.

But at the price of physically and psychologically harming women and their families, all because they want to have another child.

And then the social and economic impacts are now being felt with the first generation of little emperors and empresses all grown up and self absorbed, demanding more and unable to accept failure because of their coddled upbringing, not to mention their materialistic attitudes.

The one-child policy has also led to not enough people replacing the senior population, and so there is only one child to look after six people -- four grandparents and two parents.

And need we mention the massively skewered gender ratio that has way more men than women, resulting in lots of young men with lots of testosterone and no where to channel it?

The one-child policy is seriously flawed and needs to be changed.

Officials in the family planning department -- a euphemism for enforcing the one-child policy -- believe they are doing their job when they successfully coerce people into having abortions. If their population numbers rise too much, they are punished, hence the heavy-handed tactics.

This method of controlling the country's population is a violation of human rights.

The most interesting aspect of this case is the complete silence from top leaders President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao.

The fact that they have said nothing on this case reflects their stance on the one-child policy and that there will be no changes in the immediate future.

Meanwhile what is perhaps even more infuriating is that the two sacked officials will eventually surface somewhere again in the near future.

No one has learned their lesson.

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