How can American journalisists ignore this?  


Chinese kill baby to enforce birth rule



CHINA has been shaken by one of the most horrifying cases of official infanticide in recent memory after family planners drowned a healthy baby in front of its parents.

The actions of the officials in the village of Caidian, in the central Hubei province - carried out as part of China's one-child policy - caused a public outcry which forced the Hubei government to pledge that those responsible would be punished, a rarity in such cases.

The baby's mother, identified by Chinese newspapers as Mrs. Liu, was expecting her fourth child. Couples in the countryside, where 70 per cent of China's people live, often have more than one child without punishment, despite the policy. But in Mrs. Liu's case she was forcibly injected with a saline solution to induce labour and kill the child.

However, the baby was born healthy, to the surprise of family planning officials who had ordered the injection, which ordinarily destroys the infant's nervous system.

Immediately after the birth, they ordered the father to kill the child outside the hospital. He refused to obey but was so scared of further punishment that he left the crying baby behind in an office building, where it was found by a doctor shortly afterwards.

The doctor took the baby back to the hospital and reunited it with its mother. He removed the umbilical cord, administered vaccinations and then sent the family home.

Five officials were waiting for them in their living room. During the ensuing argument, the officials grabbed the baby, dragged it out of the house and drowned it in a paddy field in front of its parents.

Such was the public outcry in Hubei that people in Caidian contacted newspapers in the nearby metropolis of Wuhan on the Yangtze River. This led to national media attention which forced the Hubei government to pledge that it would punish the guilty officials.

Since its implementation in the early 1970s, the one-child policy has been dogged by allegations that family planning officials force those who break the rules into having abortions. The policy was introduced to ensure that China, a land historically beset by flood and famine, could feed all its people - now exceeding 1.1 billion - from a mere 7 per cent of the world's arable land.

Last month Zhang Weiqing, Beijing's Family Planning Minister, said he would not tolerate officials abusing women in order to achieve birth control targets. He said: "We have a strict policy. We deal with every violation by officials seriously." He was responding to media reports that in Nanhai, Guangdong, family planning officials held pregnant women in detention centres for violating the one-child policy.

The Government has recently restated its full commitment to the policy despite the abuses. The official Xinhua news agency commented: "Without taking effective measures to slow down the rapid growth of its population, China would have 300 million people more than the current figure."

A foreign demography expert said: "There are reports of people who have more than one child being beaten up, ostracised by the community and their houses demolished, but it is not condoned by the central government."

The doctor who tended the baby in Caidian said: "How could they be so cruel? The child could have been looked after in a children's welfare home. How could they do it?"

To verify this story go to: . Type in "Chinese baby" (August) on the "Search" page to read directly from the London Times.  Also, see "Female Infanticide".


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