In the wake of an onslaught of criticism for Vice President Joe Biden’s comments in China about “not second guessing” the country’s one-child policy, the Obama administration has issued a statement of clarification.
“The Obama Administration strongly opposes all aspects of China’s coercive birth limitation policies, including forced abortion and sterilization,” Biden’s spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff told The Daily Caller in an email. “The Vice President believes such practices are repugnant.”
Barkoff explained that Biden was attempting to critique the restrictive system with his comments.
“He also pointed out, in China, that the policy is, as a practical matter, unsustainable,” Barkoff added. “He was arguing against the One Child Policy to a Chinese audience. ”
Biden came under fire for comments he made during appearance at Sichuan University in Chengdu, China, in which he said that he would “not second-guess” the nation’s one-child policy. That policy has resulted in sterilizations and abortions on a large scale.
“As I was talking to some of your leaders,” Biden said in China, “you share a similar concern here in China. You have no safety net. Your policy has been one which I fully understand — I’m not second-guessing — of one child per family. The result being that you’re in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people. Not sustainable. So hopefully we can act in a way on a problem that’s much less severe than yours, and maybe we can learn together from how we can do that.”
House Speaker John Boehner and presidential candidate Mitt Romney also joined the chorus of opposition.
“I’m deeply troubled by the comments reportedly made by the Vice President yesterday regarding China’s reprehensible one-child policy, which has resulted in forced sterilizations and coerced abortions and should not be condoned by any American official,” said Boehner. “No government on Earth has the authority to place quotas on the value of innocent human life, or to treat life as an economic commodity that can be regulated and taken away on a whim by the state.”
“China’s one-child policy is gruesome and barbaric,” Romney said. “Vice President Biden’s acquiescence to such a policy should shock the conscience of every American.”