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UNFPA Coercion Whitewashed Again Expert Says: 'UNFPA Report Simply Not Trustworthy'

14 May 2002

UNFPA Coercion Whitewashed Again; Expert Says: 'UNFPA Report Simply Not Trustworthy' The following statement on UNFPA Coercion is issued jointly by SPUC and PRI: 14 May 2002--Misinformation about forced abortion in China has made its way into the western press, following a second international whitewash of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) support of forced abortion in China. UNFPA, through a British parliamentary group which it substantially funds, sent a delegation of three British MPs to China in the first week of April. None of the MPs spoke Chinese, so UNFPA assigned one of its own employees to the delegation as an interpreter. One of the MPs on the trip, Christine McCafferty, is an avowed apologist for UNFPA, and chairman of the UNFPA-funded parliamentary group which facilitated the so-called "study tour." A member of a UK-led junket to China this week said he was unable to find any evidence of coercive family planning in China. During the UK 'study tour' to China, however, Chinese officials admitted that even they themselves are often coerced to meet birth control quotas, and UNFPA has no effective way of monitoring its program in China. In addition, women interviewed during the UK junket provided identical stock answers. The delegation's visit to China was limited by communist authorities to a tiny area, and follows an equally whitewashed report of UNFPA's China program issued late last year. Nicolaas Biegman, the leader of last year's "investigation" (October 22-27, 2001) later confessed to Congress that women were interviewed in the presence of Chinese officials. Expert, former U. S. Census Bureau senior research specialist on China, Dr. John Aird, commented that, "From the limited information available about the April 1-9 parliamentary delegation to China, this one seems, like the Beigman mission, to have been designed so that it could not possibly discover evidence of coercive family planning in China. So-called 'study tours' like this one, which are given no independent scholarly briefing before the trip, and follow a pre-planned agenda accompanied by one-sided propaganda during the trip, tend to turn the delegates, whether wittingly or not, into advocates and propagandists for the UNFPA and the Chinese Government, both of which are parties at interest in misleading world public opinion about the continuing coercive policies and state-mandated human rights violations in the Chinese family planning program." Aird continued: "The reports of such whitewash missions, however well intentioned the members, are simply not trustworthy. Recent documentary evidence from China makes it clear that coercive measures in family planning are still national policy, that national population plans, and the local population targets based on them, are reaffirmed in the new national family planning law adopted by the Chinese government at the end of December. The system of punishments for local political and family planning leaders who fail to fulfill their state-assigned targets is still official policy. Presumably, the UK 'study tour' was not invited to study these documents!" Last September, during an independent investigation led by Population Research Institute (PRI), audio- and video-taped statements from over two- dozen victims of forced abortion and forced sterilization in a UNFPA "model" county program in China were obtained. Coercion is as bad today as ever in the history of China's one-child policy, in this UNFPA program in which China and UNFPA "work together." In a recent letter to President Bush, numerous British parliamentarians stated that "in a (parliamentary) debate last October, defenders of UNFPA's activities in China were unable to refute PRI's evidence or to prove that UNFPA was eliminating coercion from the one-child policy ... (We) believe that UNFPA continues to be complicit in coercive population control". In addition, numerous U.S. Congressmen have told President Bush that "the simple fact that UNFPA gives money to China's population control program is enough to legally and morally disqualify them from receiving a subsidy from the United States."

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