- The Washington Times - Friday, May 8, 2015

As a university student in 1989, Chai Ling stood up for government reforms in China’s Tiananmen Square protests.

Today, she is seeking another massive reform: the conversion of China’s one-child policy to one that allows all children — with a special emphasis on “all girls allowed.”

“If you eliminate girls in the womb, you achieve a double result: She will not be born, and she will not be a mother to give birth to the next generation,” said Ms. Ling, a married mother of three who lives in Massachusetts.

This policy is “suicidal” for a nation, she said.

Ms. Ling recently addressed a Capitol Hill hearing on China’s ​35-year-old population-control program that limits most married couples to one child.

Some 400 million lives have been aborted or lost since ​the policy was started ​on ​Sept. 25, 1980, by Chairman Mao Zedong​, speakers told the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) on April 30.​

Moreover, the policy has ​led to the historically unprecedented situation in which some 37 million ​girls are ​”missing​,​”​ due to ​countless Chinese ​parents t​aking​ steps to ensure that their only child w​as a boy.

​This gender imbalance — which has also been seen in India, Vietnam and eastern European countries like Georgia and Albania — is likely due to a cultural “son preference.” In China, for instance, sons have long been viewed as the inheritors, owners and caretakers of the elderly parents​.

​Whatever the reason, the one-child policy is a “massive evil,” Ms. Ling told the CECC, adding she founded her nonprofit organization, All Girls Allowed, to change hearts and minds about girls, women, motherhood and life.

Ms. Ling said even she — like more than half of Chinese women — had multiple abortions, and for years did not understand the ramifications of the one-child policy.

​Those words, “one child per family,” “sound so benign and perfect,” she said. But the true meaning of that phrase is that “all other children must die.”

Once she understood these things, Ms. Ling said she wrestled with what to do next, especially since she was living in exile in America, due to her involvement in the Tiananmen Square protests, which ended with hundreds of deaths as the military took action against the people.

“I knew from personal experience” that ending something like China’s one-child policy would require more than commitment, endurance, perseverance, courage and other human attributes, she told the hearing led by Rep. Christopher H. Smith, New Jersey Republican.

“It will also need something bigger, much bigger, to overcome this massive evil,” said Ms. Ling. “I did find that big thing, and that is God,” she added, referring to her conversion experience with Jesus Christ on Dec. 4, 2009.

In June 2010, Ms. Ling said she felt called to start All Girls Allowed to advocate for full valuation of “the girl child” in all countries, to end the gendercide of girls, and end China’s one-child policy.

Ms. Ling has told part of her story in 2012 book, “A Heart For Freedom: The Remarkable Journey of a Young Dissident, Her Daring Escape and Her Quest to Free China’s Daughters.”

Already, China has been taking steps to reform its policies, Ms. Ling noted at the hearing.

In November 2013, government leaders said married couples in which either spouse is an only child may apply for a second-child birth permit. Previously, both spouses had to be singletons to have a second child.

This new policy has been reported to have resulted in about 1 million second-child births, Ms. Ling said.

Also, Chinese officials announced May 6 they were stepping up a campaign against “sex-selective abortions,” in which an unborn child is aborted solely because it is an unwanted gender — typically a girl.

The new campaign will concentrate on health centers, family planning institutions, as well as illegal fertility agencies, clinics and itinerant doctors, Reuters News Agency said, noting that the scarcity of marriage-age women is prompting kidnappings and human trafficking.

Ms. Ling told the CECC hearing that she and others are also seeing “chatters” about additional reforms coming for the one-child policy — possibly making it a two-child policy.

June 1 is Children’s Day in China, and it would be good if the U.S. Congress passed a resolution asking China to switch to an “all children allowed” policy at that time, Ms. Ling told The Washington Times.

Ms. Ling, 49, added that she is powered forward by her faith in Jesus Christ, and she believes that if hearts and minds can be changed, the battle can be won “without having to make the first strike.”

“Without God, we can do nothing … but with God, all things are possible,” she said.

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