- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 19, 2001

Just when we thought that the U.N. Population Fund's (UNFPA) 20-year-long whitewashing of China's brutal forced abortion policy could not get any worse, it has. The UNFPA has just written a report designed to secure millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars for itself. The report is an unmitigated sham and a must-read for anyone who opposes forced abortion.

Since 1979, the UNFPA has been the chief apologist and cheerleader for China's coercive one-child-per-couple policy. Despite numerous credible forced abortion reports from impeccable sources, including human rights organizations, journalists, former Chinese population control officials and, above all, from the women victims themselves, officials at the UNFPA always found a way to explain it all away. By its words and actions, the UNFPA has chosen to partner with those who oppress women.

Amazingly, the UNFPA has funded, provided crucial technical support and, most importantly, provided cover for massive crimes of forced abortion and involuntary sterilization. Tens of millions of children have been slaughtered their mothers robbed of their children by the state. The UNFPA has aggressively defended this barbaric policy that makes brothers and sisters illegal, and makes women the pawns of the population-control cadres.

Time and again, officials of the UNFPA have defended the indefensible. In her own words, the former executive director of the UNFPA, Nafis Sadik, said, "China has every reason to feel proud of and pleased with its remarkable achievements made in its family planning policy. The country could offer its experiences and special expert[ise] to help other countries." On CBS "Nightwatch" she said, "The UNFPA firmly believes, and so does the government of the People's Republic of China, that their program is a totally voluntary program." Someone should tell them that police states have a way of achieving "results" when human-rights concerns don't get in the way.

Forced abortion by the Nazis was properly ruled a crime against humanity at the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal. Many then offered lame excuses for their complicity, but forced abortion is no less a crime against humanity today in China, no matter how many standing ovations they get from the UNFPA.

The newest whitewash by the UNFPA is particularly disturbing and raises additional serious questions about the organization itself. This is especially pertinent since some in Congress are pushing to substantially increase U.S. taxpayer funds to the UNFPA. Congress and the president are deciding right now if the UNFPA should be rewarded with several million dollars in grants from U.S. taxpayers. Before Congress votes, it ought to study UNFPA's sordid record with China over the years. At the very least, members should consider the newest attempt by UNFPA to mislead.

Here are the facts: Earlier this year, the Population Research Institute (PRI) sent an undercover fact-finding team to Sihui, which is a UNFPA county in China, to investigate claims of forced abortion. Investigators received testimony from many victims and witnesses of coercion, and as formal interviews were being conducted and recorded, bystanders often gathered and began to tell their own stories of coercion.

The investigators were told that:

•Family planning is not voluntary in Sihui.

•Coercive family planning policies in Sihui include: age requirements for pregnancy; birth permits; mandatory use of IUDs; mandatory sterilization; crippling fines for non-compliance; imprisonment for non-compliance; destruction of homes and property for non-compliance; forced abortion and forced sterilization.

The investigative team spent a total of four days in China. During this period, it interviewed family- planning workers and spent over 10 hours secretly interviewing more than two dozen victims or witnesses of coercion in Sihui County. Over four hours of testimonies were recorded on audiotape, and approximately 30 minutes of testimonies were recorded on videotape.

Victims and witnesses of coercion were interviewed privately, not in the presence of officials, to ensure that those interviewed were able to speak about their own experiences without fear of reprisals. These investigative findings were presented at a House International Relations Committee hearing on Oct. 17.

In response to this evidence of forced abortion, the UNFPA sent what it described as an "impartial international review team" to China "to determine whether or not the evidence was true." But a closer look reveals that this team was anything but impartial.

According to the UNFPA's own mission report, the team consisted of two former UNFPA executive board vice-presidents and the chairman of the Main Committee at the 1994 U.N. Population Control Conference in Cairo. It was also staffed by at least three UNFPA employees. To make matters worse and the findings even less believable the delegation was hosted by Chinese Population Control officials. I counted at least 35 on the list.

In a country where political dissent often means jail, it is foolish in the extreme to expect women who have been exploited or fear retribution to speak openly to foreigners, especially foreigners on a whirlwind tour with government minders.

It also turns out the UNFPA team spent an inordinately small amount of time actually visiting the Potemkin Village prepared for them. They spent most of their time attending briefings, luncheons, dinners and a farewell barbeque, which left very little time for site visits. For example, the team's itinerary shows that the visit to the New Family Planning Service in Sihui City took a mere 15 minutes. The visit to Dasha Town Hospital got 20 minutes.

And if all of that wasn't enough to expose this whitewash, consider this: If investigators truly want to catch a thug or drug-pusher, they do not announce the time and place of their "visit," and they certainly do not hob-nob and munch down on barbequed treats with those under scrutiny.

Not surprisingly, because China is a totalitarian state, the UNFPA team found nothing but happy consumers. They report, "No one expressed any grievances or complaints of any kind, or knew of any abuses in recent years. Such abuses had occurred in the past, they said, but not at the present. None seemed to know of any force abortions." There you have it: an open and shut case. How convenient and how utterly unbelievable.

Rep. Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican, is vice chairman of the International Relations Committee and chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee.

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