It has always been a marriage made in academic/media heaven and it continues, as this story from City Journal reports.
Western adoration of China is a chronic and profound sickness, proof of which can be found in the non-reaction to the continued incarceration of Liu Xiaobo, the Nobel Prize winner imprisoned for his democratic writings. Not a single renowned European or American intellectual has demanded his freedom, and the same goes for our governments. But more damning proof comes from the positive reaction of many in the West to the Chinese government’s recent decision to authorize families to have two children instead of just one. We should decry any government that presumes to decide how many children a family can have. The Chinese people are just like you and me—they are no less concerned than we are with freedom and the right to decide the size of their own families.
There is nothing liberal about China’s new family policy. It simply recognizes the mistake made by Deng Xiaoping, who imposed the one-child policy in 1979. The consequences of this system are being felt today, as aging parents are left without family support in a country with no pension system outside the cities. In the past, children would share the responsibility of caring for their elderly parents. Another tragic consequence is that families only allowed one child have preferred to have boys, which has led to an enormous imbalance between the sexes. China currently “lacks” some 50 million women—victims either of sex-selective abortion or infanticide—which has made marriage impossible for the equivalent number of men. This disequilibrium has in turn led to aggressive competition between men and widespread prostitution.
Deng instituted the one-child policy because he worried that too many children would hold back China’s development. At least, that’s the official line. The reasoning is ridiculous. Throughout history, parents have spontaneously and voluntarily reacted to economic development by reducing the number of children they have, without any government intervention. This trend was already in full swing in China in the 1970s, and is currently underway in India. Either Deng was a lousy economist, or his policy had a hidden objective: controlling the population, even in their bedrooms.
Deng’s government created an enormous “family police” department, more feared and hated than all other forms of oppression developed by the Communist Party. The officers of this branch of law enforcement kidnap pregnant women and force them to undergo abortions. So far, this new two-child policy hasn’t led to the disbandment of the department, and police powers of intrusion and control have remained the same. Xi is no more liberal than Deng in this respect.