Sunday, February 07, 2016

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) hearing on Gendercide: China’s Missing Girls

 The Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) tends to be a good barometer of legislative thinking about China in the United States.  Not that this thinking is either  coherent or well directed.  But it does represent the way in which U.S. "China expert" elites and their legislative masters develop "knowledge" about China.  This knowledge is then used to shape U.S. policy and legislative approaches U.S. China relations.  It also suggests the way that U.S. ideological thinking shapes the way in which China is viewed as understood by the United States. 
This characterization is not meant to suggest a personal position on either the outlook or work of the CECC, or of its advisers. That characterization, however, does suggest that ideological blinders tend to tell us more about the  U.S. (in this case) than it does about the Chinese.  It is with the object of helping to understanding American construction of China, rather than of helping to understand Chinese constructions of themselves (however "flawed either exercise may be in and of itself and to itself), that this announcement is offered.

It seems that American legislators, including a candidate for the selection as the Republican Party nominee for President in the 2016 elections, have chosen to focus on what they call "Gendercide" in China.  Senator Rubio ends his statement with what appears to be the them of the hearing: "As a father of four, to include two daughters, I believe it is vital that the U.S. continues advocating for the complete elimination of government-forced population planning as  well as the fundamental rights of all Chinese citizens to live up to their God - given potential."  Apparently his breeding habits, tied to his personal relationship with the religion to which he adheres, appear to be the basis on which U.S. policy toward Chinese population control policies ought to be grounded." Perhaps that is a good a basis as any. But it ought to give pause if only because there is no reason the Chinese cannot on a similar basis begin to attack, through political contributions and the like within the United States, any number of policies they might view as, for their purposes, "barbaric."  There has to be a better way. The issue of gender disparities in birth rates ought to concern Chinese as well as the rest of us.  But it ought to concern us in all parts of the world (if that is the Ambition of American policy abroad). Perhaps something other than a lecture of this sort might produce less smoke but more fire. Still, if the object is an American conversation rather than one with the Chinese, perhaps this is the better way. Still. . . . . .
The announcement and the links to the texts of the opening statements of the witnesses follow. Decide for yourselves.

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC)
announces a hearing on
Gendercide: China’s Missing Girls

Wednesday, February 3, 2016
1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
2255 Rayburn House Office Building

The CECC will examine the social, economic, and political implications of gendercide in China. The cultural preference for boys, exacerbated by China’s birth-limitation policies, has led to millions of girls being aborted and killed over the past several decades. As a result, China faces some of the world’s most severe gender imbalances—according to official estimates, there are currently 34 million more males than females in China. Demographic experts have warned that China’s large number of “surplus males” could lead to societal instability, higher crime rates and sexual violence, and increased trafficking of women and girls. Serious doubts persist about the extent to which the recently announced “Two-Child Policy” will ameliorate the tragedy of gendercide given that data has shown that sex ratios are often more skewed after the birth of the first child. This hearing will seek to address human rights and demographic concerns in relation to the issue of gendercide in China. Witnesses will offer analysis and policy recommendations to combat this problem as well as lessons learned from other countries which have struggled with gender imbalances either as a result of cultural preference or government policy.

This hearing will be webcast live here.

Chai Ling, Founder, All Girls Allowed

Mara Hvistendahl, Journalist and Author of Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys over Girls

Julie Ford Brenning, Director of Research & China Outreach, Give Her Life


Opening Statements

Representative Christopher Smith, Chairman
[Full text of statement]

Senator Marco Rubio, Cochairman
[Full text of statement]

Chai Ling, Founder, All Girls Allowed
[Full text of statement]
Mara Hvistendahl, Journalist and Author of "And the City Swallowed Them" and "Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls"
[Full text of statement]

Julie Ford Brenning, Director of Research and China Outreach, Give Her Life
[Full text of statement]

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