What Would Happen if Corporations Opposed China’s One-Child Policy?

We live in a morally truncated world. We’ve been very carefully taught that economics, business and just about everything involved with the multi-national corporations who are controlling our government are morality-free zones.

It’s as if the Gospels stop at the doorways of corporate board rooms. 

We have no trouble laying the heavy hand of our moral judgements on things like how some little old lady casts her vote, but we can’t seem to wrap our minds around the idea that corporate policies that kill, maim and enslave millions of innocent people might be subject to moral demands as well.

This laxity of moral teaching leads to terrible things. When the churches, as so many of them do, twist the Scriptures to provide dishonest and morally bankrupt moral cover for multi-national corporations, then it makes saner people question if the Scriptures actually mean anything.

I want to ask a simple question: What would happen if the American corporations who have exported America’s industrial base to China made a stand against China’s vicious one-child policy?

That’s the challenge Chen Guangcheng, the blind anti-one-child policy activist who recently came to America gave to Apple Corporation.

A September 14 Baptist Press article quotes him as saying, “Apple in China should take a very active role,” said Chen Guangcheng, the blind lawyer who brought a class-action lawsuit on behalf of Chinese women forced to have abortions or sterilizations, according to Bloomberg News. “There’s a huge social responsibility for these international corporations like Apple.”

Well. Duh. Multi-national corporations have moral responsibilities. I think it’s interesting that it took a heroic Christian who had suffered persecution in China to finally say this. But I thank God that somebody finally did.

The article says in part:

WASHINGTON (BP) — Apple, creator of the iPhone and iPad, could help bring an end to China’s coercive population control program, a leading Chinese opponent of the policy is contending.

“Apple in China should take a very active role,” said Chen Guangcheng, the blind lawyer who brought a class-action lawsuit on behalf of Chinese women forced to have abortions or sterilizations, according to Bloomberg News. “There’s a huge social responsibility for these international corporations like Apple.”

Chen and other human rights advocates sent a letter to Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive officer, asking for a meeting and urging the firm to halt coercive population control polices in its plants. Among other recommendations, they urged Apple to bar Chinese family planning authorities from access to its factories and to decline to report to the government pregnant women who do not have birth permits, Bloomberg reported Sept. 6.

“Apple is in a unique position to take a leadership role in standing up against coercive family planning in China,” Chen and the others said in the letter.

Apple’s latest yearly corporate responsibility report showed 24 of its factories it inspected performed pregnancy tests on female employees and 56 of its plants had no protocols to prevent discriminatory practices against pregnant women. The suppliers had halted screenings, Apple said, and it will terminate its relationship with facilities that are discriminatory, according to Bloomberg.

The human rights advocates also are asking other corporations, including Cisco Systems Inc., to call on China to end its coercive policy. They are targeting Apple first because it is the world’s leading technology firm and the largest corporation by market value, a spokesman told Bloomberg.

China’s population control program — known as the one-child policy and instituted officially in 1980 — generally limits couples in urban areas to one child and those in rural areas to two, if the first is a girl. Parents in cities may have second babies if the husband and wife are both only children. (Read more here.)

  • Ted Seeber

    “It’s as if the Gospels stop at the doorways of corporate board rooms. ”

    Heck, thanks to Obama, the Gospels stop at the property line of your parish. Forget the board rooms, the gospels no longer even reach the sidewalk.

    Now having said that, I don’t see Apple or Nike leading the way on this- because the upper class, in general, is for the extermination of the Takers through abortion- and they see the children of employees as a cost, not an asset. American corporations are sociopathically addicted to profit- no profit it won’t be done.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      All sociopaths do as they want. That does NOT mean we have to accede to them.
      “American corporations are sociopathically addicted to profit- no profit it won’t be done.”

      As for President Obama, I agree. However, one does not justify the other.

      • Ted Seeber

        I didn’t say that one justified the other. I simply said that most corporations- especially the ones involved in China- aren’t there because they are ethical. They are in fact specifically there because they ARE NOT ethical. They’re not about to jeopardize access to $.34/day minimum wage by insisting on being pro-life, because the current sex imbalance just feeds more men into the factories to be used up, without needing to worry about them being paid anything close to a family living wage.

        Abortion is capitalism. To paraphrase Dicken’s Scrooge, it’s a way to get rid of the excess population.

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          “I didn’t say that one justified the other. ”

          I know you didn’t. I was just making the point clear for someone who might be reading this later. I think you for your faithful comments Ted.

  • http://jessicahof.wordpress.com/ Jessica Hoff

    Alas, mammon will come before God fir these people.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      True. The question is, will we allow their sick values to continue to control our government(s) here in the West?

      • Ted Seeber

        We have a choice? As long as the Democrats or Republicans are in charge, and as long as the Constitution still carries a monopoly on the creation of money, I don’t see any way out of allowing the sick values of Hudge and Grudge to continue to rule.

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          Sadly, I think you are right Ted. :-(

  • http://theshepherdspresence.wordpress.com Karyl

    I agree. I have a simple, Biblical philosophy so I don’t use big words or big thinking. Yes, China is a big offender–in so many ways I don’t want to try to count. I shook my head as a young person when Nixon opened this can of worms. The worms are still crawling out of that can and this is one of them. It is time that our policy makers take a stand and change or withdraw from agreements made back in 1994 that allowed trade with “underdeveloped countries.” China seems to be developed now. Reason to wisthdraw? I think so. I am moping around today after a visit to a fabric department. Every bolt of fabric had “made in China” stamped on the end of it–wait one said, “made in Korea.” I came home, did some research, and found a news artcle produced by CBS news with a headline that read: The American Textile Industry is a Victim of Failed Trade Policy. They cited the policies made in 1994 including the NAFTA. I felt uneasy about that one too. So, Rebecca, tell me what to do. If we wore only Made in the USA clothing, we might be rather cold.

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  • FW Ken

    Interesting and thought-provoking posts on China. Lots to think about. Thank you, Rebecca.

  • http://jscafenette.com Manny

    I agree with you here Rebecca. I’m all for it.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thanks Manny.

  • http://www.patheos.com muftzey

    Very sad but true….these are the kind of discussions i long to hear about and neither the left nor the right has any answers for them. Politicians on both side of the aisle use all types of representative cases that stir up and divide the country on issues such as abortion. and while i can only imagine that majority are pro-life sometimes decisions made can be interpreted as vicious. but to look at the big picture while i compare data, i see a real problem with our policies. And i thank Rebecca and others who can see the big picture. while many of us here might be at the crossroads of making that hard decision, it is a policy that is legally enforced by a government that we here in the west can only look but can’t do anything about it. We borrow so much from them and because they have grown into so much a heavy and dominating economic factor/player we just have to continue to give a blind look. bottom line. Sadly, money and power will always continue to dominate moral values. and for 32 years and an estimated 400 millions babies we hear absolutely nothing about this viscous cycle. yet they try to make it an issue here they so care about…