As the international fallout over China’s oppression, systematic discrimination and mass sterilization in the north-western autonomous territory of Xinjiang continues, the United States has finally imposed sanctions on four senior Chinese Communist Party officials who orchestrated systematic human rights abuses under the Global Magnitsky Act. The four include the man who turned Xinjiang into an Orwellian police state with a giant open-air concentration camp, CCP Politburo member and Xinjiang party chief Chen Quanguo, along with three other CCP officials.

In retaliation, China has taken “tit-for-tat sanctions” against four American politicians and against the US aerospace and defense giant Lockheed Martin. The politicians targeted by China are New Jersey congressman Chris Smith, Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and US Ambassador at large for International Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback. China has labelled all four “long-term enemies of China”, “anti-China politicians” and “troublemakers”.

Diplomatic spat?

Just the usual diplomatic spat between the US and China? In fact, anyone who takes the time to examine the actions taken will realize the vast difference between the two superpowers. The simple fact is that the men the US sanctioned are allegedly little less than criminals. By contrast, the men China has sanctioned have consistently fought against oppression, human trafficking, China’s one-child policy and ongoing religious persecution.

The skewed vision of the Chinese government can be seen by contrasting the human rights records of Congressman Chris Smith and the “great old friend of the Chinese people” – former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who Chinese leaders have fawned over for decades.

Let’s begin with Republican Congressman Smith. For a start, he has been the most consistent champion of the rights of the unborn and mothers of China in Washington DC. His entire congressional career has focused squarely on pro-life and human rights causes around the world.

A prominent Catholic, Smith was elected in 1981, just a year after China’s one-child policy was enacted. By the mid-1980s, during the Reagan years, he was already championing the fight against China’s brutal and inhumane one-child policy. Smith was also one of the first American politicians to point to the pervasive role the United Nations Population Fund and the UNFPA played in directing China’s all-out assault on life and birth freedom.

In 1985, Representative Smith drafted an amendment, now known as the
Kemp-Kasten amendment
, to the US foreign aid bill explicitly condemning China’s one-child policy. It provided authority for President Reagan to withhold funds from the UNFPA. It is important to note this was in the 1980s, long before the full extent of the horrors of the one-child policy were revealed – a time when China was still viewed by the West as a beacon of hope for future reforms.  Smith was already warning of the dark side of the CCP’s policy and moving to have American funding of the Chinese State Family Planning Commission restricted. His amendment has been the main reason that American funding has been withheld from the UNFPA.

Smith has remained consistent in his unwavering fight for the pro-life cause in China and elsewhere. He has written many letters and resolutions and drawn up legislation aimed at curbing the one-child policy and the activities of the UNFPA-Chinese Family Planning Commission.

Two decades after the Reagan administration, Smith successfully lobbied the Bush administration to defund UNFPA and redirect millions of dollars of funding.  In doing so he saved the lives of many thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of Chinese babies by repeatedly blocking and reducing the funding which would have flowed to the professional population control machines of China or other developing nations.

Smith’s human rights track record

But Smith’s track record does not stop there. He has helped and hosted dissidents, human rights activists and victims of the one-child policy to speak out about their experiences in forums, congressional hearings and interviews.  He has tirelessly called for the end of the one-child policy and after China’s two-child policy came into effect, together with Senator Rubio he debunked the lie that birth control in China had been abolished. He exposed the truth – that restrictions on births, forced abortions and mass sterilizations were continuing under the so-called “two-child policy”.

During then Chinese President Hu Jintao’s state visit to the United States in 2011, Smith also questioned Hu about forced abortions and when he in turn visited China he attempted to visit the detained dissident and human rights activist Chen Guangcheng who had exposed the cruelty and scale of the implementation of the population control policy in the northern Chinese province of Shandong. He later played a key role in facilitating Chen’s 2012 escape to the United States.

In the same year, Smith highlighted in a Congressional hearing on China the case of Feng Jianmei, a Chinese woman who was forced to have an abortion seven months into her pregnancy after she could not pay a hefty fine for exceeding the birth limit. This is one of many Congressional hearings Smith has held or attended highlighting the crimes of China’s population programme. Many of these crimes would never have come to light in the West had he and his colleagues not intervened.

As CCP oppression in Hong Kong and Xinjiang has become the focus of world attention in recent times, Smith, as the Chair of the Congressional Executive Committee on China, has championed their causes and sponsored legislation like the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act and the Uyghur Human Rights and Policy Act. He tirelessly advocated for the freedom of the Uyghurs, Hong Kongers and victims of China’s population control policy, long before these causes attracted popular support.

Smith’s fight against population control tyranny is not limited to China. He has been the single most consistent pro-life advocate in the United States Congress against global population control and has repeatedly called for the US to stop having any role in funding the UNFPA and restrict participation in UN meetings and conferences on population. He has also held US Congressional hearings on highlighting the abuses of the Peruvian population control programme’s mass forced sterilisations of the 1990s, sex-selective abortions in India and provided leadership on the reinstatement of the Mexico City policy which blocks US federal funding for abortion providing NGOs worldwide.

It is important to note here that Smith’s crusades against the one-child policy and population control have not been motivated by an “anti-China” sentiment. Had China heeded his calls for the end of the one-child policy, millions of lives could have been saved. He respects the sanctity of life and has been remarkably consistent in defending it.

And Kissinger?

Compare Smith’s record with that of Henry Kissinger who continues to visit China, always receiving a warm welcome, while Beijing has permanently blocked Smith from entering the country. Kissinger, who orchestrated the Sino-American rapprochement of the 1970s and organized the visit of Richard Nixon to China, is promoted as a “wise old sage”. His role in global population control and China’s one-child policy? In 1974 he directed the drafting of NSSM-200, also called “the Kissinger Report”, a memorandum in which the US Government identifies the growth of population in third world countries as a national security threat.

 In response to this “threat”, in 1975 Kissinger and President Gerald Ford made it official US government policy to support and fund population control programmes worldwide, indoctrinate the youths of developing countries with anti-natalist propaganda and encourage leaders of third world countries to start population control programmes in their respective nations.

This paved the way for US government policy to fund, support and use the UNFPA, International Planned Parenthood Foundation and the governments of developing countries to carry out its agenda of global population control. In this respect, Henry Kissinger is the architect of global population control and directly contributed to the founding of China’s one-child policy.

So what can we conclude from all of this? Well, from now on, Congressman Smith and the other three US politicians should consider the sanctions they have received from Beijing as a badge of honour. They are not the enemies of China or the Chinese people, but defenders of the rights of the Chinese people. What Congressman Smith really deserves is not a sanction, but a “thank you” from the Chinese people for his efforts over the decades to highlight the abuse they suffered under the CCP’s one-child policy.

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William Huang is a product of the one-child policy as he is the only son in the family. Born and raised in China, it is only when he went overseas to study that he had an epiphany, realizing just how much...