WASHINGTON – The Chinese Communist Party, which has maintained its rule over the people of China for over 60 years, is more dangerous than terrorist groups such as ISIS, well-known blind Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng implied on Thursday.
The Chinese government recently celebrated the 34th anniversary of its one child per family policy and the government estimates that over 400 million lives have been "prevented" with about 13 million abortions happening each year.
Chen, a self-taught lawyer who fought for the rights of Chinese women and was imprisoned by the communist government for over four years during the mid to late 2000's, told attendees at a Heritage Foundation event that the majority of the abortion require authorities to physically abduct women and forcibly take them to abortion clinics.
"I believe that we have underestimated the threat from the Communist regime like China," Chen said. "They are many, many times more dangerous than the terrorist groups out there. I believe the people will realize later this is true."
Chen said that in the last three decades, the policy has "demoralized" Chinese society. Chen, who is blind, said that the policy's implementation doesn't just include the forceful aborting of nearly 1,500 lives each day, but also entails the merciless beatings of husbands, neighbors and relatives of the pregnant women.
"After several decades of one child policy implementation of mostly forced abortion in China, the public live in fear from the government," he said. "I want to emphasize here that everybody should realize that the Communist Party does not represent China, not even mention the Chinese people. It is just now they are becoming a public enemy of the Chinese people."
Chen escaped from house arrest and eventually fled China to come to the U.S. in 2012 on the grounds that he would be employed at New York University. Before that he conducted his own study in 2005 on China's human rights abuses toward women under their forced abortion policy.
Chen said that his study uncovered that there were at least over 650,000 women in the Shandong Province and found that many of them had forced, late-term abortions. His surveys found that forced sterilization of women who violated China's one-child policy occurred.
To provide an anecdote for his numbers, Chen provided an example of this mistreatment in detailing one case of a Chinese couple's experience with family planning officials, which is "just one of those tens of thousands of examples of suffering such a kind of inhuman treatment in China."
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In his recount, there was one couple where the wife was pregnant without a birth-allowed permit and policy officials ordered the couple to go to the abortion clinic in order to receive the procedure. However, the couple refused and never showed up at the clinic. Chen said that later, the couple was "taken over" by local policy officials and were forced into the back of a truck that was going to take them to the abortion clinic.
Before the truck could get to the clinic, the government officials pulled over to the side of the road and took the husband out of the truck. They threw the husband on the ground and proceeded to beat him. After his beating, he was put back in the truck and they carried on to the clinic where the forced abortion took place and the couple was later taken back home.
"In ancient Chinese culture, we have saying where 'your home is your castle.' Even a king will not be allowed to come in without my permission," Chen said. "Now under this China, under the communist rule, they even put their hand into your body and grab your babies out of your womb and they kill your babies in your face."
Chen said that when policy officials come around to local villages to implement the policy, villagers are so afraid that they usually flee their own homes and seek refuge in open fields.
"Whenever there is a kind of family policy implementation planning from the government, the villagers were so scared they dared not to live in their own houses," Chen said. "They had to escape their own home to bring a few clothes and to stay overnight in the open field to escape the grab from the local family planning policy officials."
U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-New Jersey, also spoke at the Heritage Foundation event and said that the fine for carrying a child without a permit from the state can resort in a fine that is 10 times the average annual income of two parents. If the woman and family can't or won't pay the fine, the woman is often jailed or her home is "smashed." Smith added that if the woman flees from her punishment, her relatives are often jailed or beaten.
"Group punishments will be used to socially ostracized her. Her colleagues and neighbors will be denied birth permits," Smith said. "If a women is by some miracle still able to resist this pressure, she may be physically dragged to the operating table and forced to undergo an abortion."
According to 2012 statistics released by the Chinese Center for Disease Control, there are an estimated 590 female suicides per day in the country – the only nation in the world where female suicide rate is higher than that of men.
"In many cases women find [hopelessness] in facing the forced abortion and they have dried their tears and their neighbors and relatives often suffer beatings from the local government officials to implement such a kind of inhuman policy," Chen added.