Today, the Chinese author Mo Yan won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Mo Yan, who said he was “overjoyed and scared” at winning the prize, is an outspoken critic of the One-Child Policy.
Mr. Mo’s Nobel biography notes that his most recent work, Wa, highlights the harsh reality of the coercive family planning in China. It tells the story of a rural gynecologist who delivers babies and also performs abortions in her role as an enforcer of the One-Child Policy.
“Every baby is unique. It cannot be replaced. Will the bloodstained hands never be washed clean? Will the soul wracked with guilt never be free?” —from Wa, by Mo Yan
In a 2010 interview with Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV, Mr. Mo acknowledged that his book could be controversial but said the subject was deeply personal for him. He had compelled his wife to abort the couple’s second child.
Mr. Mo said: “I personally believe the one-child policy is a bad policy. If there were no one-child policy, I would have two or three children.”
“When I was serving in the army, I was promoted to the rank of officer,” said Mo Yan. “There was another officer in the army who lost his rank…because he had a second child. I was afraid I would receive the same punishment, so I chose not to have another child. If it were not for my own selfish ambition, I would have let my wife have a second or even a third baby. I used a very high-sounding rationale to convince her we needed to abort the baby: we had to follow the Party’s policy and nation’s policy. This has become an eternal scar in the deepest part of my heart. …It became a big shadow in my heart.”
Despite Mo’s criticism of the One-Child Policy, Chinese state media embraced his Nobel Prize and interrupted a planned broadcast to announce the news.
Today’s Nobel announcement comes on the first “International Day of the Girl Child.” Last spring the UN General Assembly called upon member states to observe the day by raising awareness about the situation of girls around the world.
Chai Ling said, “I hope that Mo Yan’s thoughtful criticism of the One-Child Policy will help others see its role in causing gendercide. It is the largest challenge facing girls in China. Every day the policy continues, another 3,000 girls are lost to sex-selective abortion, infanticide or abandonment. Mo Yan said the One-Child Policy left a shadow in his heart; it should leave a shadow on everyone’s heart on this International Day of the Girl Child.”
Ling found hope in this year’s progress, saying, “All of this year’s events—the escape of Chen Guangcheng, the global outcry against Feng Jianmei’s forced abortion this summer, the upcoming leadership transition in China—lead me to believe that Jesus is bringing an end to the One-Child Policy soon. He hears the cries of the afflicted and sets the oppressed free.”
As Mo Yan, whose only child is a daughter, told Phoenix TV: “No matter whether a child is a girl or boy, it is a life. Lives are all equal.”
All Girls Allowed (http://www.allgirlsallowed.org) was founded by Chai Ling in 2010 with a mission to display the love of Jesus by restoring life, value and dignity to girls and mothers in China and to reveal the injustice of the One-Child Policy. “In Jesus’ Name, Simply Love Her.”
The February 14th White House visit of China’s next leader—Vice President Xi Jinping—is fast approaching, and human rights groups are hoping that the One-Child Policy in China and other abuses will be addressed in his U.S. meetings.
“Xi Jinping is in a unique position this year as he takes control in China,” says Chai Ling, two-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee and former commander-in-chief of students in the 1989 Tiananmen Square Democracy Movement and author of A Heart for Freedom. “This man...