About the speaker
Steven W. Mosher is an internationally recognized authority on China and population issues, as well as an acclaimed author, speaker. He has worked tirelessly since 1979 to fight coercive population control programs and has helped hundreds of thousands of women and families worldwide over the years.
In 1979, Steven was the first American social scientist to visit mainland China. He was invited there by the Chinese government, where he had access to government documents and actually witnessed women being forced to have abortions under the new “one-child policy.” Mr. Mosher was a pro-choice atheist at the time, but witnessing these traumatic abortions led him to reconsider his convictions and to eventually become a practicing, pro-life Roman Catholic.
Steven has appeared numerous times before Congress as an expert in world population, China, and human rights abuses. He has also made TV appearances on Good Morning America, 60 Minutes, The Today Show, 20/20, FOX and CNN news, as well as being a regular guest on talk radio shows across the nation.
He is also the author of the best-selling A Mother’s Ordeal: One Woman’s Fight Against China’s One-Child Policy. Other books include Hegemon: China’s Plan to Dominate Asia and the World, China Attacks, China Misperceived: American Illusions and Chinese Reality, Journey to the Forbidden China, and Broken Earth: The Rural Chinese.
Articles by Steve have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, The New Republic, The Washington Post, National Review, Reason, The Asian Wall Street Journal, Freedom Review, Linacre Quarterly, Catholic World Report, Human Life Review, First Things, and numerous other publications.
Steven Mosher lives in Virginia with his wife, Vera, and their nine children.
Robert R. Reilly:
Hello and welcome back to the Westminster Institute. I am Bob Reilly, the director, and welcome to our continuing series of Zoom lectures, which we are doing to cope with the peculiar circumstances of the time before we can go back into our normal venue.
We are extremely delighted to have as our speaker today, Steven Mosher, who is an internationally recognized authority on China and population issues. In 1979 Steve was the first American social scientist to visit mainland China. He was invited there by the Chinese government, where he had access to government documents, and actually witnessed women being forced to have abortions under the new one-child policy.
Steve has appeared numerous times before Congress as an expert in world population, China, and human rights abuses. He is the author of Mother’s Ordeal: One Woman’s Fight Against China’s One Child Policy. Other major books include Hegemon: China’s Plan to Dominate Asia and the World, China Attacks, China Misperceived: American Illusions and Chinese Reality, and Journey to the Forbidden China. And most recently his new book is Bully of Asia: Why China’s Dream is the New Threat to World Order.
Steve’s articles have appeared in many major publications, The Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, The New Republic, The Washington Post, the Asian Wall Street Journal, as well as others. Today, he is going to address the topic for us of “The Chinese Communist Party’s Plan to Dominate Asia and the World.” Welcome, Steve.
It is good to be here with you and all of the viewers, Bob. This is a topic, China’s Plan to Dominate Asia and the World, that has occupied me for some years now. As you mentioned, I was in China ‘boots on the ground’ as it were, in March of 1979 just a few months after former President Jimmy Carter had normalized relations with the Communist giant.
I spent the next year in China in a commune about eighty miles up the Pearl River from Hong Kong in a county called Shunde County in Guangdong Province. That was fortuitous in many respects, first of all because I had permission from then-supreme leader Deng Xiaoping to be there, and that came about in the following way: I was selected to be the only social scientist in the first wave of fifty American scholars that were going to go to China in the newly established scholarly exchange program.
Well, China, not surprisingly – and when I say China, I always mean the Chinese Communist Party, I do not mean the Chinese people, who are the first and foremost victims of the Chinese Communist Party – when China saw that there was an inquisitive social scientist on the list of exchange scholars, and one who had studied at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and who spoke both Mandarin and Cantonese, the language of Guangdong province, and who could read and write Chinese. They said no. They turned down my research proposal. They were happy to have nuclear physicists come to China and share their knowledge. They were happy to have chemical engineers. They were happy to have scholars of all kinds, especially in the STEM fields, but they were not enthusiastic to say the least about welcoming a social scientist from Stanford University.
So they turned down my proposal. At that point President Jimmy Carter went into a meeting with President Deng Xiaoping and my research was on a list of agenda items to be discussed between the two. And as soon as President Carter brought up the issue of my research and questioned why it had been blocked, Deng Xiaoping waved his hand and said in Chinese, “meiyou wenti.”
Well, meiyou wenti in Chinese means, “It will not be a problem.” And it turns out that in a one-party dictatorship where almost all decisions are made by a handful of elderly men – and of course primus inter pares in that group was Deng Xiaoping himself – when Deng Xiaoping says it will not be a problem, officials at all levels of government below him simply kowtow and obey.
So I arrived in Shunde County in Guangdong province with the blessing of China’s supreme leader Deng Xiaoping. And that penumbra carried me through the next year of research, so the Chinese authorities, the local authorities, provincial authorities, prefectural authorities, county authorities, Communist authorities were sometimes very upset about the things I was doing and seeing, but they dared not stop me because I had permission from supreme leader Deng Xiaoping himself to be there.
And so it was that when the one-child policy began in March of 1980, the local Communist Party official who had became a friend of mine came over to my house and said the Chinese Communist Party has ordered the population growth rate in China to be cut way back, and the Guangdong Provincial Party has interpreted that order to mean that the population will not be allowed to grow more than one percent in the year 1980.
Well, bare in mind that by then in March of 1980 all of the children who were going to be born over the course of that calendar year had already been conceived. It takes nine months of course to gestate a human baby. So I immediately asked him, “One percent means that you are going to have to go door-to-door and find out which women are pregnant, how many women are pregnant, and then decide who gets to continue their pregnancy and who doesn’t.” He said yes, that is exactly what we are going to do.
That is what they did. They went door-to-door. They identified the women they were going to allow to continue their pregnancies. These were mostly young women who were pregnant with their first child or their second child. Women who were pregnant with their third, fourth, fifth, higher order children were told they must go in for an abortion. Those who refused were arrested, taken, and incarcerated for however long it took to bend their will to that of the Chinese Communist Party.
I am going into some detail here because this is a classic Communist Party political campaign of the kind that we have seen on dozens of occasions throughout the seventy year history of the People’s Republic of China. This sort of thing happens again and again and again.
It is happening now. There is a new campaign in China to not waste food because supreme leader Xi Jinping, the new Red emperor, has said that the Chinese people must not waste food, and so everyone is being taught how to eat the last grain of rice on their plate. And we suspect there is a massive food shortage in China, but lest we get off onto that.
Political campaigns are the way that the Chinese Communist Party conducts its business. It is the way the Chinese Communist Party imposes its will on the Chinese people. The campaigns always begin with pronouncements from on high. In the case of the one-child policy it was a pronouncement that all couples should not have more than one child. And then they get passed down to local levels and local level officials compete to enforce the new dictate of the Central Committee because the better they enforce it, the greater the reward that they will receive.
So there is competition now throughout the length and breadth of China to not waste food, which means cut back on the amount of food that the Chinese people are eating. There was for thirty-five years competition among Chinese officials to see who could drive the birthrate down further and farthest.
And those officials who did drive the birthrate down the farthest were given bonuses. They were given promotions. Their portfolios, responsibilities, were expanded, and they were rewarded. Those officials who failed to meet their quotas, who allowed illegal children to be born, were criticized, they were demoted, and in very severe cases they would simply be fired completely from their jobs as Communist Party officials. So the stakes are very high when the Chinese Communist Party embarks on a campaign.
So let us go back to the Spring of 1980 when women who were pregnant with what the Communist Party was now calling ‘illegal children’ were arrested and taken, incarcerated for days or weeks at a time. What happened when they were in the lock-up?
What happened when they were in the lock-up was this: the Communist Party officials would harangue them all the live-long day in succession. You would have a good cop-bad cop scenario played out again and again. You would have the good cop come in and say nobody is going to force you to have an abortion, but for the good of the country, for the good of the province, for the good of your family, for the good of the village, you must not continue this pregnancy.
And then the bad cop would come in, and he would say sternly, none of you have any choice. Remember he is talking to young, pregnant moms, probably twenty-three, twenty-five, who are pregnant with their third or fourth child. In some cases they were pregnant with their second child. They were just declared to be over-quota children, illegal children, and their mothers were told to abort.
These women would be crying and sobbing. I was in the room as this was going on. As the bad cop would say, “You must have an abortion, whether you want to or not, and if you should go into labor,” he continued, “before you give us permission to abort your child, we will simply take you by force to the local medical clinic and there we will abort anyway, so there is no point in you holding out,” the bad cop would say. And that succession of psychological pressure, the haranguing, the brainwashing, the coercion would continue day after day after day until all of these women one-by-one went in for the abortion that was being demanded of them.
I was in the room as these brainwashing sessions were taking place. I went with these women as they went to the local medical center. I was in the operating room when doctors were performing cesarean section abortions on women who were seven, eight, and nine months pregnant. In some cases when the women would come in, while she was already in labor and the baby’s head was crowning, they would simply give a lethal injection into the soft spot of the baby’s skull, killing the baby at birth.
Now, you can imagine local officials were very unhappy that I was in that operating room, that I was observing these crimes against humanity. Now, the Nuremberg Tribunals years ago declared that forced abortion was a crime against humanity because Nazi doctors had forcibly aborted [the fetuses of] an estimated seven thousand Polish women during the course of the Second World War.
Well, in the case of China these doctors, the Chinese doctors acting under orders of the Chinese Communist Party, aborted a couple hundred million women over the course of the long-running one-child policy, China’s longest running political campaign.
I would add here that local doctors refused to do these procedures, by and large, and so doctors from the Red Army had to be brought in. The People’s Liberation Army doctors were brought in who had no local connections, no sympathy for the women, no acquaintance with their families or their villages, and they were simply doing assembly-line abortions all day long.
I go into this in some detail because I think this shows you in quite clear relief the inhumanity that the Chinese Communist Party is capable of vis-à-vis the Chinese people. I have long regarded the Chinese Communist Party as a terrorist organization because of the kind of terrorism and horrors that it has inflicted upon the Chinese people and also minorities living within China’s borders.
I think that the one-child policy, forced abortions, and forced sterilizations clearly show what the Chinese Communist Party is capable of. A Party capable of killing babies at birth is probably capable of just about any atrocity you can imagine. And in fact, if we were to go through a list of human rights abuses, an exhaustive list of human rights abuses from political persecution, the arrest and imprisonment of political dissidents, to the arrest, and imprisonment, and torture of those who advocate for free labor unions, if were just to go down the list, to the persecution of Catholics, Christians and other religious believers for their religious faith, we would see that China is either the topic or certainly close to the top of the violators in every given category of possible human rights violations both in terms of the severity of the violations and certainly in terms of the sheer number of violations because after all China does have a population of 1.4 billion.
But aside from just illuminating the sheer barbarity that the Chinese Communist Party is capable of, it also illustrates the downside – that is putting it mildly – of state planning because in 1980 the Chinese Communist Party embarked upon the one-child policy because a systems engineer by the name of Mr. Song, engineer Song Jian who had traveled overseas a couple years before, came back with a report by something called the Club of Rome, which projected that humanity was running out of resources, and that we would run out of zinc, and chromium, and copper, and all of these various resources by the end of the twentieth century and that the only solution that was proposed by the Club of Rome was a drastic reduction in the human population.