Narrator: Chen Guangcheng｜Human Rights Activist
Chen Guangcheng, born in 1971 in Yinan, Shandong Province, was born in a poor family and lost his eyesight at a young age due to a lack of proper medical treatment. Later on, he became a “barefoot lawyer” trusted by his neighbors, due to his intelligence and diligence in studying medicine and law.
Yinan was already a relatively poor region in Shandong Province, and the increasingly inhumane so-called “family planning” policy implemented by the Chinese Communist Party authorities since the 1980s has plunged the people of this old revolutionary area into a miserable situation where they are worse than cattle and horses.
Some critics say that the Chinese Communist regime is one of the most authoritarian and centralized regimes ever to control the people’s bodies. For decades, the CCP regime has set up toll booths at the exit of the birth canal of every woman of childbearing age in the country in the name of family planning, at a price determined by the CCP regime itself. Chinese women use their own bodies to nurture their own fetuses, which need to be approved by the Communist regime to pass through the birth canal. Otherwise, the Communist regime will impose a fine or break into the woman’s body and drag the fetus out and kill it. Those who cannot pay the fine have their houses demolished by the authorities and their basic means of livelihood taken away from them (the so-called “bull-drawn houses”). Many families who could not afford to pay the fine had their children taken away by the government and given as orphans for adoption by foreigners, with the local government collecting a large amount of adoption fees as extra income that officials could share and enrich themselves with.
The victims of the “family planning” policy are nationwide and include both the poor families of the Yinan region and the family of internationally renowned film director Zhang Yimou. Zhang Yimou’s wife, who used her own body to raise her family’s three children, was fined $7,487,854 by the Chinese Communist regime in 2013 for violating the “family planning” policy. Faced with a family planning policy that violates basic human rights, Zhang Yimou publicly acknowledged the validity of the policy and apologized for violating it, then continued to make films that glorified the Chinese Communist regime.
Chen Guangcheng, on the other hand, has chosen to defend the basic human rights of his neighbors who have sought his help through the law, demanding that the Communist authorities respect their own laws and stop the brutal family planning policy. The Communist authorities in Yinan have ruthlessly cracked down on Chen Guangcheng, including sentencing him to more than four years in prison on trumped-up charges of “intentional destruction of property and gathering a crowd to disrupt traffic order,” and then spending tens of millions of yuan a year to hire a large number of thugs to keep him and his family under house arrest and surveillance around the clock, supplemented by regular harassment and physical threats.
In April 2014, Chen Guangcheng, unable to bear the persecution, fled into the U.S. Embassy in China with the help of friends and left China for the United States in May.
Before Chen Guangcheng left China, the Chinese Communist authorities’ “one child per couple” family planning policy began to show serious consequences. This policy, coupled with China’s traditional culture of preference for sons over daughters, has led to a serious imbalance in the ratio of men to women in China’s population, making it difficult for tens of millions of Chinese men to find spouses; the birth rate has plummeted; the proportion of elderly people has soared; and the lack of support for the elderly has become a serious problem. When the family planning policy was strongly implemented, the Chinese Communist regime propagated that the state would provide for the elderly, but now it is claiming that the elderly cannot rely on the state but on themselves.
Despite the fact that the brutal and human rights-abusing family planning policy has led to consequences that the Communist regime can hardly cope with today, the regime still insists that it has unquestionable control over the bodies and reproductive decisions of Chinese women of childbearing age. The so-called “over-birth fine” policy is still in effect today when China is experiencing a severe shortage of newborns. At the same time, the Communist regime has leaked through its media that it is considering the use of deposits to induce women of childbearing age to give birth.
Chen Guangcheng now laments, “As long as this communist dictatorship, which monopolizes all power and overrides the state, the people, the Constitution and the law, is not changed, there will never be a day when the fate of the Chinese people will rest in peace.”
In the domestic state of the CCP, the dictatorship has reached such a level that people are no longer human beings in their eyes, but a tool, just like the pigs, horses, cows, sheep and rabbits raised by farmers. If he wants you to have more babies, he will let you have more babies, and if he doesn’t want you to have more babies, he will block your birth canal.
I was born in a very poor mountain village in the Yimeng Mountains. I have four brothers. At that time, my father was not at home, it was the time of the Cultural Revolution, and my mother had to constantly participate in the labor of the production team. I can say that my growing environment was very poor. My children were left unattended at home. At that time, many children did not have enough clothes to cover their bodies and food to eat.
When I was more than five months old, I once had a high fever, but my mother had to go to work and didn’t even have time to borrow two dollars to take me to the doctor. As a result, two days after I had the fever, I had problems with my eyes. My mother heard me crying and when she picked me up to look at me again, she realized that my eyes were burned out. At that time, everyone was in a revolution, which also led to many tragedies. I think I was one of them, though not the most tragic.
I was able to think independently, from the perspective of good and evil, right and wrong, firstly because my father read me some ancient chivalric novels, these stories of justice. When I was growing up, another major source of information was listening to the radio. When I was a child, I often listened to the “trumpet” program of the Central People’s Radio, and later I also listened to different interpretations of international affairs through the short wave, and then I had a completely different standard of judgment from the Chinese Communist education and propaganda I received.
When I was a child, I liked to find out what was going on, it was my personality. Not going to school and being poisoned by the Communist Party may have been part of the reason. I really don’t know if I would have been superstitious if I had been educated about it from the age of 5 or 6, 6 or 7. But I think external factors still work through internal factors, and the key is internal thinking, which is very important.
[Editor’s note: It wasn’t until 1989 that 18-year-old Chen Guangcheng walked through the doors of the Shandong Linyi School for the Blind. 1994, he enrolled in the Qingdao School for the Blind, and four years later enrolled in Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine to study acupuncture, moxibustion and massage].
I was very interested in Chinese medicine, and the tradition of Chinese medicine, the theory of the unity of heaven and man, also made a lot of sense to me. Our teachers also recognized me as a good material for studying TCM, but in the process I found that many problems in society could not be solved by medicine.
There is a saying: the top doctor heals the country, the middle doctor heals the people, and the bottom doctor heals the disease. Later I found that in China, those who can really receive such treatment are either officials or mandarins, and ordinary people rarely have the conditions. So I didn’t go into the practice of medicine later, maybe a little bit of the meaning of Lu Xun abandoned medicine for literature. Of course, I didn’t go into literature either, I don’t know what I went into, I went into human rights (laughs).
At that time, I taught myself law in school and also took law as an elective. As I helped myself and other disabled people to defend their rights, many farmers came to me afterwards when they were victimized. At this time you will find that society’s demand and expectation for fairness and justice is very, very high. There was no one to do this, it was a gap. At that time, I thought this might be more valuable.
Note: Chen Guangcheng, who gave up being a doctor, began to use the law to defend his rights and those of the villagers, and became known as a “barefoot lawyer” in the area. Among all his advocacy actions, the most well-known is his investigation into the violent family planning efforts of the government in Linyi, Shandong province, in 2015.
In fact, the Communist Party has been indoctrinating the people since the 1980s that family planning is a policy that has been granted by divine decree. It doesn’t matter how much you go overboard in this policy, even if it’s a matter of human life. In the case of family planning, you only have to obey. If you resist, “you can’t hang yourself from a rope, you can’t drink from a bottle”, you can drink from a bottle in front of us, and we won’t take it away from you.
In the 1990s, the Communist Party changed this slogan and said, “Give the rope to hang yourself and the bottle to drink the medicine. The implication is that if you want to resist this thing, you hang yourself, the Party and the government will give you the rope; if you drink the medicine, we will buy it for you. Their slogans are very clear: “Fight out, flow out, absolutely not born out”, “rather add ten graves, not add a person”, “one over-birth, the whole village tied”. What “the flow does not flow, the house to pull the cow, the tie does not tie, demolition of the house to uncover the tiles” and so on a series of humane slogans have come out. If you leave, he will use a tractor, with a wire rope, smash your door open. A rope tied to the beam of the house a fall, the whole house to demolish. This is the Communist Party.
The mass arrests in ’05 were not an exaggeration to say massacres, killing many children. I was in Beijing at the time, and by that time I had already done a lot of human rights cases. One day, I got a call from a brother in our same village. He said that they were now like the 80s and 90s again, forming small teams, ranging from a dozen to dozens of people, going to the village day and night to catch these pregnant women. The two couples could not be caught, they began to catch his neighbors, brothers and sisters, parents, and even parents-in-law from neighboring villages. Caught to the birth control office, put in a room to lock up. As soon as I heard it, I said, this is definitely illegal. I felt very angry. Then I came back from Beijing, and we started an investigation, prepared a case file, and filed a lawsuit against these local officials.
The most horrible thing is to kill children. They use a word called “cover”. This word is actually used by the people to catch birds or animals. These small teams, they go to the daytime to find people can not be found, so at night at 12 o’clock, 1 o’clock to the home, part of the people with a sheep pickaxe stick, over the wall into the home, without saying anything, sometimes those women are not allowed to wear clothes, wearing underwear to drag out of the home, two people carried to the car, dragged to the family planning service station forced abortion.
The first thing you have to do there is to sign an “informed consent”, the name is very nice. What this means is that you know about the abortion, you agree to it, you want it, and you made the decision to have an abortion yourself. Obviously you are forced, but he wants you to sign such a thing, in order to avoid legal liability. If you don’t sign it, then the next step is insulting and slanderous: “Don’t be shameless. If you don’t sign, a few of us will press your arms and legs and have the operation done.” Generally people can not stand such insults, so they are forced to sign, aggrieved.
The doctor felt around on her stomach and found the head of the child. Put this poison needle through the belly, pierce the child’s scalp, hit it in the body, and kill this child. The worst is that some children have been more than 9 months, almost born, in the inside began to struggle for life, so that the pregnant woman pain, tossing and turning. Finally the child was made to die and rushed down. They sometimes put the child in a plastic bag and throw it on the bed. Not immediately take away, so you can not see. Oops, can’t tell, I get very angry every time I tell this story.
Some local hospitals just give birth injections, not to kill first with a poisoned needle, but directly to the 8 or 9-month-old child. Some children are more vital, he will automatically expel this thing and make a cry. This time, doctors and nurses will grab the child’s neck, twist it off, throw it into the tank, so kill; some will get some alcohol to its face a press, the child to choke to death, in front of his parents; others will be put directly into a plastic bag, the mouth tightened, so he died, smothered to death. Very genocidal. Such practices may be commonplace to them, not even take it seriously. It happens too often, probably hundreds of times a day.
In the state of the Chinese Communist Party, the dictatorship has reached such a level that people are no longer human beings in their eyes, they are just tools, just like the pigs, horses, cows, sheep and rabbits raised by farmers. If he wants you to have more babies, he will let you have more babies; if he doesn’t want you to have more babies, he will block your birth canal. For those who are forced to petition, or forced to be tied, or forced to force the child out of your womb through violence and kill it, don’t the people understand? Yes, they do. But in the face of naked violence, thugs, and the thugs in power, with guns in their hands. What do you say?
When these squads grabbed a woman from her home and dragged her away from her home, and people called the police, the public security response was: government action, we can’t control. When this mob comes to your house to arrest and beat people, you go to sue him and the Communist Party says I don’t know. But when you resist, the violent public security system, which represents the Communist Party, immediately jumps out and becomes the Communist Party’s SS and thugs.
The villagers of a village called Taohuadeng (now called Taohuayuan), where I went to investigate, told me that in our whole village, except for these 8 or 90-year-old women who dare to live in the village, the rest of the slightly younger ones dare not live here, they are all tainted with relatives ah. If a person has a problem with family planning, all the neighbors in a 50-meter radius from your house are arrested, locked up, beaten and tortured. So they had to take a plastic sheet and run outside the village to sleep in the fields at night. The people told me that the Communists had done everything that the Kuomintang and the Japs had not done back then. In less than six months, more than 130,000 people were forced to have abortions or ligations in Linyi, and more than 600,000 family members, relatives and friends were implicated, beaten and tortured in the birth control offices. 6-meter-square rooms sometimes held more than 100 people, and there was no place to stand. They put a table in the middle. They put a urine container on each side of the table, and the men and women are mixed together for a few days or a few months. If you do not quickly find your relative to let her go to abortion, then you have to “study” here every day, but also to force them to pay what “study fees”. Every day is a beating, what learning ah.
In fact, this is also a very large industrial chain. The Communist Party set up a family planning committee, which on the one hand was a policy that the Communist Party wanted to do, and on the other hand became a good way for local officials to enrich themselves and generate income. Many victims of family planning, as well as their fathers, brothers and relatives, were arrested and locked up in the family planning committees. A day’s food and drink was a big expense. The Communists forced them to pay a “study fee” of 200 yuan a day, and forced them to buy high-priced food.
On the other hand, when family members were arrested, the family was very anxious, so they would beg their brothers and sisters, find a way to send gifts, and get money to get them released. It is easy to buy connections to release today, tomorrow they are arrested again. Because the squad is doing this. Catch people back to the reward, there will be money, so he is crazy to catch people, get money.
Another part is the fine. The birth control department fines are also a big source of income. There is a lot of flexibility here. Just give you some trouble, you send money, send money to eliminate the trouble. This brings them a lot of revenue. This corruption is also to an outrageous degree.
[Editor’s note: In 2016, Chinese officials ended the “one-child” policy and fully opened up the second child. This policy has apparently not had the desired effect. In June, the government announced that people would be allowed to have three children, but it did not abolish the family planning policy that has been in place for more than 40 years.
Forty years of evil murderous policies have brought too many disasters to China. The Communist Party is probably now aware of this disaster, whether it is the decline of morality in China, the lack of respect for life, or the aging of the country, and other social problems that are gradually coming to light. In fact, the CCP has been in power for 70 years, and its policies have been wrong for more than 40 years. It does not want to admit such a fact, but in reality, it must change. So it pretends to conduct pilot projects and wants to cancel this policy.
It is said that some places are now forcing people to pay a deposit when they register a marriage and promise to have a second child after the marriage. If you have a second child, you can get this money back. If you do not give birth, the money will be lost. This is very much like when you get married you have to pay a deposit to guarantee that you will not have more than one child. If you do, the money will be gone. In a short period of time, you will find that the Communist Party’s policy is completely two extremes – before it was “if one person has an over-birth, the whole village will be tied up”. The next possibility is “one person does not give birth, the whole village pregnant”? It is free to keep making mistakes, making mistakes left and right, but it is always the people of China who bear the cost. The Communist Party has been eating the demographic dividend for years, and all kinds of consequences will come out next. What to do? I think whether you were forced to have an abortion and kill your child or forced to give birth today, in fact, the Communist Party only treats the people as a tool, as a harvesting leek. As long as this communist dictatorship monopolizes all power and overrides the state, the people, the constitution and the law, and this dictatorship is not changed, the fate of the Chinese people will never have a day of peace.