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Ex-official testifies about China's one-child enforcement

WASHINGTON -- A former population control administrator in China gave grim congressional testimony Wednesday about Chinese government tactics for dealing with unauthorized pregnancies: nighttime raids, forced abortions, destruction of offending women's houses.

Gao Xiao Duan said her office paid informants to report on unauthorized pregnancies of neighbors, relatives and friends. She provided extensive details to the House International Relations human rights subcommittee on how China's ``one child per couple'' system functions.

A videotape of Gao and the office building where she ran a birth control office included footage of an aborted unborn child, a detention cell with bars, an operating room and a computer records center.

``I did so many brutal things. ... All those ... years I was a monster in the daytime, injuring others by carrying out the Chinese Communist authorities' barbaric planned birth policy,'' Gao said in Chinese translated by an interpreter. ``But in the evening I enjoyed my life with my children. I could not live such a dual life anymore.''

She said she quit her job in Fujian province's Yongwe township this year, fled China and arrived in the United States in April.

``There is a longstanding concern by our government'' about Chinese population policy, McCurry said, and the subject has been raised with China.

``These are obviously practices that we consider abhorrent,'' McCurry said. ``That will be part of the president's upcoming trip'' that starts June 25.

McCurry said China insists its officially policy prohibits the use of force to compel people to submit to abortion and sterilization. But he said: ``Evidence that comes forward suggests there is poor supervision of local officials, who are sometimes under very intense pressure to meet family planning targets.''

Wednesday's hearing was the second in less than a week that pro-life Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., called for testimony on alleged rights violations in China. Former dissident Harry Wu testified Thursday on prison labor abuses, including forced organ removal.

Smith said Gao's testimony ``included depravity of the People's Republic of China program that not even the harshest critics of the program ever suspected. Women are rounded up, held in `population jail cells' and forced and coerced to submit to the killing of their children.''

The Chinese government allows most urban couples to have only one child and strongly discourages rural families from having more than two.



China "Admits" Use of Force and Coercion

BEIJING -- "Family planning" officials have used force and coercion to carry out China's unpopular one-child policy but have been punished for doing so, a state-run newspaper reported Saturday.

The admission of coercive tactics follows allegations in the United States this week by a former administrator that nighttime raids, forced abortions and other strong-arm measures were used to meet birth limits.

Gao Xiao Duan told a U.S. congressional panel that her office in a Fujian province township relied on paid informants to uncover unauthorized pregnancies. Families were threatened and their houses sometimes destroyed unless the woman submitted to abortions or sterilizations, she said.

Gao's testimony supported years of often piecemeal reports about abuses in enforcing the 20-year-old policy that limits most families to one child.

Beijing has insisted that its policy does not condone coercion. But local officials are under pressure to meet strict birth quotas set by the government.

Li Honggui, vice minister of the State Family Planning Commission, said some local officials have been punished for using coercion, the China Daily reported. It gave no details on the types of force or the punishments. The commission ``made it a principle to ban coercion at any level,'' China Daily reported.

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