Biden to China: 'I Fully Understand' 1-Child Policy

Critics: Policy pushes abortions, sterilizations
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2011 5:42 AM CDT
Biden to China: 'I Fully Understand' 1-Child Policy
Joe Biden speaks to high school students in Chengdu as Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, second from left, looks on.   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, POOL)

(Newser) – Joe Biden was mere hours away from wrapping up a gaffe-free four-day visit to China when he said he fully understood China's one-child policy. The vice president, discussing the US debt during a Q&A session at a university in Chengdu, said: "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."

Critics were quick to point out that the policy Biden "fully understands" includes forced sterilization and abortions, the Weekly Standard notes. House Speaker John Boehner responded that he was "deeply troubled" by the comment, and that "the Obama administration should be focusing on jobs for the American people, not encouraging foreign governments to utilize abortion as a means of population and deficit control.” Biden's China visit was followed by a trip to Mongolia yesterday and he is now in Japan. He met with Japan's prime minister today and plans to visit an American base tomorrow to thank personnel for their help with relief efforts after the quake and tsunami in March, the AP reports. (Read more Joe Biden stories.)

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