Tsinghua Scholar: One-Child Policy “Worse than Cultural Revolution”
IMAGE: Brookings Institution


Public policy researcher Wang Feng slammed the One-Child Policy at an academic conference in Beijing last month. Wang, who works for the Brookings Tsinghua Center for Public Policy Research, delivered his bold criticism in an interview with Chinese media outlet Sohu Finance.


“I believe history will judge the One-Child Policy as worse than the Cultural Revolution,” Wang said. “The Cultural Revolution only hurt Chinese people for a short time, but the One-Child Policy will influence more than one generation. We have only seen the beginning.”


As one of 70 elite academics and politicians invited to the conference, titled “China’s Future Opportunities and Challenges,” Wang represented one of China’s  top universities. Yet his prestigious position did not stop him from challenging the heart of national policy.


When making policies, Wang said, the Chinese government ignores both public opinion and scientific data.  “[Government officials] never ask the public to vote or decide,” he said. “They don’t even ask scholars for opinions. Policies are only decided by the imaginations of a few government officials. There is no scientific or logical thinking.”


According to Wang, China’s insistence on discarding truth leads it to disregard human life.  “The government considers its people as projects and numbers, never as individual lives,” he said. “We have no respect for people, no reverence for life…Not only our family planning policy, but also our food safety policies, transportation policies, and legal system all lack basic respect for human life.”


Decades of tragic realities back up Wang’s scathing words.  In China, Family Planning Officials are given financial incentives to meet abortion and sterilization quotas. Some local governments reward officials for each sterilization performed and fine them for failing to sterilize women who have a second child. China also boasts that the One-Child Policy has resulted in 336 million abortions since the implementation of coercive family planning in the 1970s. But it never mentions that a disproportionate number of these lost children were girls – or how many of these abortions were forced.


Nor does China admit to the other atrocities caused by the One-Child Policy. Instead, government officials repeatedly deny and suppress uncomfortable truths. Most recently, the U.S. State Department’s 2013 Trafficking in Persons Report cited China’s family planning policies and lack of transparency as key causes of its massive human trafficking problem. But China completely denied these claims.


Wang Feng sees a common thread in all the Chinese government’s flawed policies, including the disastrous Cultural Revolution and the man-made Great Chinese Famine of 1958-1961, in which tens of millions of Chinese people starved to death. “When the government makes policy, they ask people to sacrifice their personal interests to fulfill the public interest,” he said, recognizing the deadly impact of a government that refuses to value human life.


All Girls Allowed applauds this scholar for his outspoken disapproval of the One-Child Policy. More criticism like this from respected scholars will be necessary in order to increase pressure on the Chinese government to finally end the One-Child Policy, which has claimed more lives than the Cultural Revolution and the Great Chinese Famine combined.


Brian Lee, Executive Director of All Girls Allowed, said, “Ultimately, the Chinese government must choose to treasure human life instead of grasping for more power. To do so, they must embrace the love of Jesus, who proclaimed the truth that each person is created by God and has unique, intrinsic value. We pray that God would raise up more Chinese scholars like Wang Feng to expose the injustice and folly of the One-Child Policy.”


by Sarah Elliott, All Girls Allowed


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