Statements by the CECC Chairs on Announced Revision to China’s “One-Child Policy”

Congressional-Executive Commission on China
CECC Contact: 202–226–3777

October 30, 2015

(Washington, DC)—The Chairman and Cochairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) issued statements regarding the announcement that the “One-Child Policy” would be revised to allow married Chinese couples to have two children.   

“The Chinese government should not be applauded for this move, it’s not some major change, the ‘One-Child Policy’ has become a ‘Two-Child Policy’ while the coercive population control apparatus remains essentially unchanged,” said Representative Chris Smith, CECC Chair.  “The government is still limiting the size of Chinese families and the coercive structure of fines, permits, official monitoring, and birth targets remains.  Families that want a third child will still face the pressure to abort their child or pay exorbitant fines.  The sad reality is that this policy change will have little effect on China’s shrinking workforce, the social problems of a rapidly aging population, or the human trafficking problems caused by China’s massive sex-ratio imbalance—it is a matter of too little, too late.  In the long line of the Chinese Communist Party’s mistakes, this policy has been one of the deadliest and most hated.  The new policy doesn’t change the underlying brutality of China’s population control policies nor does it offer justice to the victims of the horrific crimes of forced abortions or sterilizations.  The international community, led by the United States, must insist that China abolish all of its population control policies and permanently close a dark and deadly chapter in Chinese history.”     

“For over three decades, China’s barbaric One-Child Policy has condemned approximately 37 million Chinese girls—who the policy deemed as unwanted or ‘surplus’—to abortion, infanticide, abandonment, and human trafficking. It has resulted in an unprecedented gender imbalance that will have lasting consequences,” said Senator Marco Rubio, CECC Cochair. “While the decision to allow Chinese couples to have two children is a modest improvement, the policy is still repressive. The fact remains that when couples conceive a third child, the Chinese government will force them to eliminate him or her, by any means necessary. A two-child policy is as indefensible and inhumane as a one-child policy, and it would be a mistake to assume this change in anyway reflects a newfound respect for human rights by Beijing. The United States must continue advocating for the complete elimination of government-forced population planning as well as the fundamental rights of all Chinese citizens, including the unborn, to live up to their God-given potential.”

The CECC’s 2015 Annual Report contains a chapter on “Population Control,” detailing the implementation of policies last year to restrict the size of Chinese families.  The report also contains recommendations for Congressional and Administration action on China’s population control policies, including through quick integration of the Girls Count Act (P.L. 114–24) into foreign assistance programs for China.