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Family planning as political control

Summary:
This article in the FT caught my eye: Outside investigations have suggested Uighurs are being forcibly sterilised and children are being separated from their communities. Leaked documents, revealed by the Financial Times, show that the most common reason for detention in the camps was a violation of family planning policies; the second most common reason was being a practising Muslim. A few years back, China changed it’s birth control policy from “one child” to two. At the time, I wondered why they maintained any limit at all. After all, China’s birthrate is far below 2 per family and China’s population is set to fall dramatically during the 21st century. (India’s population will exceed China’s later in this decade.)This FT story provides one rationale. China is a

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This article in the FT caught my eye:

Outside investigations have suggested Uighurs are being forcibly sterilised and children are being separated from their communities. Leaked documents, revealed by the Financial Times, show that the most common reason for detention in the camps was a violation of family planning policies; the second most common reason was being a practising Muslim.

A few years back, China changed it’s birth control policy from “one child” to two. At the time, I wondered why they maintained any limit at all. After all, China’s birthrate is far below 2 per family and China’s population is set to fall dramatically during the 21st century. (India’s population will exceed China’s later in this decade.)

This FT story provides one rationale. China is a very authoritarian society, but not completely lawless. The real problem is that their laws are too repressive. Having this law on the books provides a legal pretext, a sort of fig leaf, for the crackdown on Uighurs.

Many commentators like to call China “communist”, or “Marxist”. This is nonsense. I’ve been there, and I can assure you that there is absolutely nothing communist about modern China. Instead, China has basically become a fascist nation:

1. Authoritarian
2. Nationalistic
3. Bullying
4. Han-supremacist
5. Mixed economy
6. Intolerant
7. Misogynist
8. Teaches a fake history that ignores the CCP’s crimes while emphasizing how China was victimized by others.

That’s almost a textbook definition of fascism.

In recent months, the new national security law in Hong Kong has garnered a lot of criticism, and deservedly so. But it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that even today Hong Kong remains much freer than the rest of China (except Taiwan), while Xinjiang is far less free than the rest of China.

Did I mention that America’s president encouraged Xi Jinping to put the Uighurs into concentration camps? Perhaps I need to, as you won’t hear that fact from GOP Congressmen demanding that America get tough with China.

PS. Sad to see that political correctness has come to Taiwan. They plan to rename their national airline, which is currently called “China Airlines”:

“The ministry should make China Airlines more identifiable internationally with Taiwanese images to protect Taiwan’s national interests,” said legislative president Yu Shyi-kun of the independence-leaning party DPP. “Overseas it is mistaken for a Chinese airline.”

Gee, I wonder what would make outsiders assume that an airline that was specifically named “China Airlines” is a.you know.a Chinese airline. Names can be so confusing.

PS. Here’s a very good article on conservative cancel culture.


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Scott Sumner
Scott B. Sumner is Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, the Director of the Program on Monetary Policy at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and an economist who teaches at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. His economics blog, The Money Illusion, popularized the idea of nominal GDP targeting, which says that the Fed should target nominal GDP—i.e., real GDP growth plus the rate of inflation—to better "induce the correct level of business investment".

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