China's Quasi-Official Baby Snatchers

A story in Friday's New York Times describes another horrifying local twist on China's population control policy: Officials in Longhui County, a rural area of Hunan Province, have a history of kidnapping unauthorized babies and selling them on the black market when the parents are unable to pay exorbitant fines that may amount to five times their annual income. "I can't even describe my hatred of those family planning officials," says Yang Libing, the father of a nine-month-old girl who was snatched from his parents' home in 2005 while he was working in another town. "I hate them to my bones. I wonder if they are parents too. Why don't they treat us as humans?"

Yang's offense was failing to register his marriage, rendering any offspring illegal. Other parents in Longhui County have lost their children because they exceeded the government's birth limits or married before they reached the legally required age (22 for men, 20 for women). The Times says "at least 16" children were seized by the county's family planning officials between 1999 and 2006. Although seizing children in such situations is against official policy, the government does not seem much interested in getting to the bottom of these abuses:

Zeng Dingbao, who leads the Inspection Bureau in Shaoyang, the city that administers Longhui County, has promised a diligent investigation. But signs point to a whitewash. In June, he told People's Daily Online, the Web version of the Communist Party's official newspaper, that the situation "really isn't the way the media reported it to be, with infants being bought and sold."

Rather than helping trace and recover seized children, parents say, the authorities are punishing those who speak out. 

Like the brutal crackdowns on nonconforming families that periodically erupt across China, these kidnappings never would have happened if the national government had not authorized local officials to police people's reproductive decisions. As Wang Feng, a China scholar at the Brookings Institution, tells the Times, "The larger issue is that the one-child policy is so extreme that it emboldened local officials to act so inhumanely."

Last December I noted the admiration this oppressive policy elicits from Western newspaper columnists (such as the Times' own Thomas Friedman) who should know better. In a 2007 Reason article, I discussed the connection between China's population controls and international adoption of Chinese girls. The Times reports that some of the babies kidnapped by Longhui County officials ended up at the government-run Shaoyang orphanage, which has placed children with American parents through the Boston-based agency China Adoption With Love. It is not clear whether any of those children, whom the government said were orphaned or abandoned (a practice that also is encouraged by family-size regulations), actually were forcibly taken from their parents. The orphanage requires a $5,400 "donation" from adoptive parents.

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  • Tommy Friedman||

    If only we would take more cues from China. Imagine how well off we could be!

  • Corporationz||

    agreed. our balance sheets are well off after we dumped lazy americans

  • rts||

    I'm sure TheTruth will be along any moment to tell us how awesome the trains were that were used to ferry away the children.

  • ||

    Fuck totalitarian China.

    Let's fix our republic and start building Coruscant-like super-cities. That'll teach the fucking Chinese.

  • ||

    If we want to really keep the China system in line, we'll need some sort of orbital orphanage station.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    TRANTOR DAMNIT!!! Stop giving credit to that hack Lucas!

  • Pip||

    But they have highspeed rail. HIGHSPEED RAIL.

    - The Truth

  • Colin||

    You've just co-opted Thomas Friedman's next column.

  • Suki||

    +1

  • Suki||

    Do they use Rearden metal?

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Fair Share Law.

  • Colin||

    Planned Parenthood only wishes they had such power.

    Somewhere Margaret Sanger is looking up and smiling at this.

  • ||

    So you like being a hyperbolic retard. Got it.

  • Margaret "Nomad" Sanger||

    A retard?

    Sterilize! Sterilize!

  • Suki||

    +1

  • anarch||

    There's that.

  • ||

    His eccentricity is greater than 1?

  • ||

    Gore....Gore....what nationality is that name? Is it Chinese?

  • Margaret "The Truth" Sanger||

    kidnapping unauthorized babies and selling them on the black market when the parents are unable to pay exorbitant fines that may amount to five times their annual income.

    Progressive innovation like this will bury us

  • United Nations||

    Sustained Development.

  • The Truth||

    On the surface, this LOOKS bad, but there are NO easy solutions to China's overpopulation issue. Taking the child away and giving him or her up for adoption is the LEAST bad option here. If only American leaders would show the same fortitude to make the TOUGH choices that China's have.

  • Warty||

    That's a solid D. Good work, dude.

  • ||

    Maybe we should start grading the level of suck instead? Because our trolls are fucking amazing at sucking.

  • Warty||

    Our trolls aren't entertaining enough to deSERVE that kind of treatment.

  • ||

    A+?

  • SIV||

    MNG was A+ trolling on Friday Evening's education bubble post-comments. A+ for hilarious drunken ineptitude anyways.

  • Warty||

    It felt like MNG, didn't it? I'm especially amused that he took the opportunity to gratuitously insult me.

  • SIV||

    The damn threaded comments make it too difficult to follow the original stream and time line.He switched to MNG in an exchange with Tulpa. The only evidence it wasn't MNG is his use of the "bold" tag.

  • ||

    That wasn't MNG. It was the "Tulpa=stupid" troll who went fucking apeshit on that thread.

  • SIV||

    One and the same.

  • ||

    No, I believe I was retarded and you (Episiarch) were stupid. SIV just got assigned to "wrong", right?

  • SIV||

    No I was SIV=retarded but he left that in the name field addressing you, realized his "mistake" and switched to "MNG" I knew who it was all along but didn't call him out until then.He was using a lot of handles in that thread.

  • Nipplemancer||

    Grading by suckitude would throw off the curve.

  • The Truth||

    I am NOT trolling. What would you prefer--that the parents KEEP the child? They BARELY have enough money to take care of themselves, much less another person. The poor child would be DOOMED from the start never to rise out of the same poverty of his or her parents. This way the child gets a chance to have a REAL life with REAL opportunity, and the parents are not saddled with unbearable financial COSTS of raising a child. And by taking the child at such a young age, there is NO strong bond between child and mother and father yet. When the child is adopted, he or she will now ONLY his or her new family. In the long run, it's a WIN for everyone involved even though the parents may not agree at first.

  • ||

    I am GIVING this an A for SUCKING so BAD.

  • ||

    Quit MAKING me laugh OUT loud at WORK.

  • Joe M||

    Nope, getting too obvious now. F

  • Nipplemancer||

    I'm torn, Epi is correct, this is so bad it deserves an A for suckitude, but it is also so bad that it gets an F for not mentioning high speed rail.

  • Warty||

    (A+F)/2 = C. Congratulations, you pass!

  • WTF||

    Needs some [BRACKETS]

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    That's the Triathalon.

  • Matrix||

    Yeah, maybe everyone on welfare in America should lose their children.

    Yeah, I don't think there is any strong bond a parent feels for their child when it is only a few days old... none what-so-ever. That's why no one ever gets upset even with a miscarriage. Nope, never.

  • ||

    What I would prefer is hanging all socialist/communists, central planners, etc.
    Kill two birds with one stone there. Reduce population and improve the economy so that parents can afford children.

  • ||

    It's only a win if the state also chooses "appropriate" parents to receive the child.

  • ||

    It's Dan T, which explains the subpar trolling. I'd guess most of the current wave of anonymous stalking trolls is him as well.

  • ||

    I'd guess most of the current wave of anonymous stalking trolls is him as well.

    Different sources. The stalking/insult troll known to some as Anonopussy comes from someone who has already displayed insane stalker tendencies.

  • Warty||

    I've had that same thought. He's not anonopussy, but it seems likely that he's The Truth and The Derider and quite a few others.

  • ||

    The Derider, The Truth, la-la-la-can't-hear-you, mobiustrip, and Danny are all the same dipshit. Whether that is actually Dan T., I'm not sure. They are definitely stupid enough to be his lame attempts at humor. But they occasionally display a rage he never mustered before. The failure of The One to bring about a socialist paradise probably drove him mad. Or his wife finally left his pathetic, unemployed ass.

  • SIV||

    I like the mr = guy

  • Warty||

    I remember Dan T. getting pissed on a few occasions, and this place was more tolerant of trolls and idiots back then. It's not surprising that he's angrier now.

  • ||

    Janet lifted her head away from Precious, her mouth covered with cat fur and blood. “Don’t go outside, Mommy. The Pox is in the air. You can’t see it or taste it or smell it or see it or touch it or hear it but it’s there. The kitties are the first to go.” She took another bite.

  • Bee Tagger||

    To really get your impression down, next time try including a less subtle redirection to a totally different talking point.

  • Tman||

    Just for shits and giggles, Imma play with DA TROOF on this one.

    there are NO easy solutions to China's overpopulation issue.

    China doesn't have an overpopulation issue YOU STUPID TWAT.

    http://news.sciencemag.org/sci.....-rate.html

  • Warty||

    Guest
    Few right wing lobbyists and media zealots in US can manufacture facts and keep on repeating on prime time shows. Public considers that truth and government can go to war. Such is the power of agencies, lobbyists and media (axis of evil). So thes guys also dont need a evidence; at most they can hide under the guise of national security and interest.
    Friday, April 29, 2011, 01:53:02 – Flag – Like – Reply

    Even Science isn't immune to the ramblecrazy.

  • ||

    Let me get this shit straight: the world's number 2 country, or what progressive media refer to as YAY CHINA RULES I'LL GO SUCK A CHINAMAN'S DICK, treats children as chattel, and nobody gives a shit?

  • Pip||

    Apparently the kid's dad, Yang Libing, does.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    "Chinaman" is not the preferred nomenclature.

  • Dello||

    And people actually believe that China will overtake the US? They'll be lucky if their whole country doesn't burn.

  • Barack Obama||

    Let me be clear: I am doing my level best.

  • The Truth||

    Look at the Dow today. The Empire is crumbling.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    The [EMPIRE] you [MEAN]?

  • Larry Holmes||

    I'll whip you again for that. Fuck you for thinking this is a problem to be solved, you Malthusian dipshit.

  • Hugh Akston||

    As a libertarian I cannot condone the Chinese government taking private property without just compensation. But as a libertarian, I have no problem whatsoever with the buying and selling of children for profit.

    Do they sell them by the head or by the pound?

  • ||

    Sounds like dinner to me.

    Charlie: Like, you get one taste of delicious, delicious human meat, none of this stuff ever satisfies you ever again for the rest of your life.

    Dee: Okay, now I think that you're overreacting, okay?

    Charlie: Oh, really?

    Dee: Yeah. That's stupid.

    Charlie: Is that stupid?! Oh, I'm sorry, Dee. Well, then I guess Jaws IV is stupid.

  • ||

    Do they sell them by the head or by the pound?

    Depends on what you'll use them for. If you're going to put them to work, by the head. For food, by the pound.

    C'mon, man. This is like Monocle 101.

  • anarch||

    Two cannibals are eating a clown. One asks the other, "Does this meat taste funny to you?"

  • ||

    Sadly, that's just a taste of the sort of dominating/controlling behavior you get from the agricultural City-State (civilization.)

  • Nipplemancer||

    D for dipshit

  • Warty||

    PRIV

  • Il Douchey||

    Dude, city-states in civilization don't dominate shit, they just whine and make demands and expect to be bought off and try to fuck with you through their votes. That sounds more your speed, actually.

  • ||

    Forget it, Jake. It's agriculture.

  • Tony||

    It's an unpleasant practice, to be sure, but it's also very dangerous to let people go around having however many kids they damned well please. I don't see any other way around it.

  • Warty||

    The Tony brand is has been counterfeited to the point of worthlessness. It's sad to see.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Seriously. You can pick up a cheap knockoff Torny at any souvenir shop in Hollywood.

  • ||

    The World's Most Useless Fridge Magnet

  • ||

    Listen, I'm not going to lie to you. Those are all superior trolls. But if you like to read trolls, and I mean really read trolls, you want the Herculé.

  • ||

    Listen, I'm not going to lie to you. Those are all superior trolls. But if you like to read trolls, and I mean really read trolls, you want the Herculé.

  • ||

    Fuckin' squirrels...

  • ||

    See, I don't really consider Herc a troll. He's more of a paranoid spamranter. That they banned him on occasion (or, at least, randomly delete his posts) is baffling in context of the stuff they let through/leave up.

  • Joe M||

    Population control is a necessary evil, and people certainly can't make their own decisions about crucial issues like family.

  • Abdul||

    That's why we let your wife take care of the birth control.

    Zing!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    We'll see how happy the current Chinese policymakers are with their population control efforts in a few decades when there aren't enough younger China-men to care for their elderly asses.

  • asdf||

    Yeah, their future demographics are abysmal looking.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    We'll see how happy the current Chinese policymakers are with their population control efforts in a few decades when there aren't enough younger China-men to care for their elderly asses.


    Can they not just use automation?

  • ||

    As an aside, shit like this is what you don't get until you disarm the populace.

    Jus' sayin'.

  • Suki||

    +1

  • children's services||

    lol.

  • Wood-yi Allen||

    The orphanage requires a $5,400 "donation" from adoptive parents.

    At that price? I'll take a set of four.

  • anarch||

    One from Column A...

  • The Truth||

    Libertarians NEVER have an answer for any dilemma. They just want to CRITICIZE any leader bold enough to make a decision. China is doing what it has to to CONTROL its population, and no one has offered a BETTER solution.

  • Warty||

    F. This is getting worse and worse.

  • Suki||

    No, BETTER. See? BETTER. Caps make it that way.

  • Tony||

    Amen--I will never understand why Chinamen are so fucking horrible at selling policies, especially since they're usually more popular than the alternative when explained to people.

  • Suki||

    They need Maobama to explain it so even the stupidest people can understand. Like he explained what would happen with the stock market if the debt limit was not raised.

  • Suki||

    The market will control population.

  • Suki||

    Yang's offense was failing to register his marriage, rendering any offspring illegal.

    They have some strict government marriage rules there. The baby should go to a legally married gay couple to keep the heterosexists on their toes.

  • ||

    Suki, that's particularly idiotic even by your abysmally low standards.

  • Suki||

    Shut up you racist homo hater. Gays need babies too.

  • Kroneborge||

    Agreed that China's policies are out of hand. But I also think that such policies or worse will be implemented, if population doesn't stabalize.

    Anyone who's passed 6th grade math knows that you can't have infite growth on a finite planet.

    I'll post this link for those that are interested, even knowing that probably none will visit. (from GMO.com)

    See apendix 1 for a refutal of the Ehrlich-Simon Bet

    https://www.gmo.com/America/CMSAttachmentDownload.aspx?target=JUBRxi51IICeBY+w647w+8yc1qw89rRWuey6UVkZcqOnBQRhvyPRCnLyVzPUi0O5g1UqS1NM/pFFF8Fngaxz44dhmRat65AjEMJqCcCI5t/q7KUqhLxzPuhOAOHRHA1u

  • Suki||

    That is right. You cannot have infinite growth on a planet. Other societies on this planet manage to have sustainable population growth, even shrinkage without murdering babies or selling them off to strangers. China has been "doing things different" for decades. Maybe they can start doing something the same as everybody else for a change?

  • Kroneborge||

    Note, first I said I didn't agree with China's policy.

    Two, I think it's a reasonable question to ask if the earth can support 10 billion people or so on it, if that's the number it stabalizes at.

    At least if all those 10 billion people expect a reasonable standard of living. Of course if they all settle for the bair minimum, then we can cram more on.

  • scythe||

    It's not about whether the Earth can support 10 billion people; it's about whether humans can support 10 billion people on the Earth. The carrying capacity of the Earth is directly linked to society's scientific and technological progress.

    It doesn't matter because in decent living conditions with access to contraceptives, fertility rates -always- drop below replacement. Finland doesn't have a population problem, and they don't steal babies. Whodathunk?

  • Brian||

    Ron wrote an article about this a while back. From a food and water point of view, 10 billion was certainly achievable. Don't remember if he looked at things like energy consumption or pollution.

  • Kroneborge||

    If you follow the link I posted, you will see a pretty good analysis of the problems we are having with soil. They are managable, but not with what we are currently doing.

  • ||

    We haven't even scratched the surface of what can be done with algae farming.

  • Suki||

    If there only were some sort of green revolution that could sweep agriculture.

  • ||

    If you read the article, he does mention no till farming.

    The other stuff doesn't really do it over longer periods of time. IE examine mineral reserves needed for fertilization.

  • ||

    We only have less than 5 billion years before the sun burns off all the water on earth. Assuming every woman who lives between now and then is constantly pregnant from age 10 to 50 and does not die prematurely will yield a finite upper bound on the human population that earth will ever have living on it.

    So it ain't infinite growth.

  • ||

    A finite upper bound would be

    (3,000,000,000) * 53 ^ (500,000,000)

    given that there are about 3 billion women on earth now, with 53 pregnancies during their time of fertility, and 500 million periods of lag between birth and fertility. Of course we're also assuming every birth is a girl which means the real upper bound will be lower.

  • Monday Morning 5star||

    Which is why China has turned their little slant eyes toward Siberia. I say have at it. The best thing for us in the States would be a no-holds barred, slugfest between the nose-picking Chinese and the flat-head Russians.

  • ||

    Anyone who's passed 6th grade math knows that you can't have infite growth on a finite planet.

    Thank goodness, then that rapid population growth is a transitory artifact, arising from the implementation of advanced health and nutrition in a society before the economy as a whole catches up.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Colonize Mars.

    Solved you problem.

  • ||

    Christ-fag-pig-fucks deserve to die.

    Oh, they're Taoists? Buddhists?

    Same shit.

  • Zuo||

    Holy shit you can get a career snatching babies and selling them on the black market?! How do I apply?

  • AlmightyJB||

    Calling it the black market is racist.

  • AlmightyJB||

    What a bunch of ingrates. You have all these smart government officials trying to make their lessor's lives better and they're all like wahhhh you stole our baby. They're just like those hick tea baggers. Fuckin' terrorist.

  • Jing Ouyang||

    You don't know what history with these kids. Possible abuse and neglect and going on in these families. You let people racist anti-PRC agenda filter news for you treat it as fact. Government knows the details, so don't make conclusions.

  • Alex||

    $5,400? For something made in China? If I'm paying that much, I don't want a Chinese knock off.....

  • ||

    China's regulation on the one child policy should be a guideline, not a inhumane regulation. Instead of focusing all their time in this one-child punishment, they should focus more on reducing their carbon footprint and becoming more sustainable and efficient for their large population.

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