Sunday, November 21, 2010

The REAL "Stolen Generation''

Twenty one years ago, in a poor region of China, a nightmare began for a 6 year old boy named Zhou. It happened as he was leaving school when he met a couple who claimed to be friends of his parents. The man and woman said they were there to take him home, instead of walking, they would treat him to a bus ride. While waiting they also treated him to a bowl of his favourite cold noodles. It was only when the bus passed his home Zhou sensed something was wrong. He laid on the floor and cried. No one paid him any notice. Once off the bus they held him tightly, then boarded a train.

The journey, which lasted at least two days, continued by another bus and then by boat. Once in the countryside, the couple transferred Zhou to a older woman. He remembers, ''She didn't seem happy. Maybe it was an issue of price. So we took a three-wheeled cart to another farm and then another. In the end they took me to my new family.'' Zhou was repeatedly told by his new family, a large farming clan in Fujian, that life would have been much worse had he never been sold to them. But he was treated more like Cinderella than part of this large family. Eventually they treated him better and he grew to like them.

It's important to remember that the late 1980's were an unsettling period for China. The economic reforms that had began a decade earlier had opened up huge opportunities - not just for law abiding citizens. The Chinese penchant for corruption also began to rise, and organized crime, beaten back by relentless social controls, grew once again. Because of a new freedom of movement, gangs found it easier to take children from one place and sell them in another. There have been many crackdowns in the past, but the authorities are cracking down much harder and in the last 18 months have arrested 15,000 people, with ringleaders sentenced to death. They were selling children for up to $6000 each. However, the scourge continues as 2,093 cases were already reported in the first seven months of this year.

To control population growth, in 1979 the government launched the One-Child Policy, which prevented most families from having multiple offspring. A traditional preference for male children, meanwhile, persisted in many areas. For these moderately prosperous citizens buying a child is an investment to ensure they are taken care of in old age. These factors contributed to the springing up of syndicates that traded not only in children but also in young women, who were sold into marriage in rural areas short on eligible brides.

Tackling the aftermath, however, can be even harder than cracking the trafficking gangs. Despite a new official effort to reunite families with their lost children, it's mostly volunteers that shoulder much of the work. And while the, mostly indifferent, public is slowly becoming aware of the extent of the human trafficking, the implications of having tens of thousands of children wrenched from their families are only now emerging as those who went missing in the 1980's reach adulthood. Some were kidnapped at such a young age that they will never have any recollection of their birth family. The police have recently launched a website called ''Baby Searching for Home,'' which publicizes the details of the rescued children to help grieving parents identify them. The authorities confirm any possible matches through DNA tests. So far 813 children have been reunited with their families through this program, unfortunately the now 27 year old Zhou wasn't one of them.

The Way I See It....this is a true story of human tragedy, a real "Stolen Generation" rather then the phony one foisted on the Australian people. This manufactured guilt-trip instigated by anti-religious, leftest historians (which I exposed in my previous posting on the subject) to malign the good intentions of those missionaries working in difficult conditions with half-caste children in dire circumstances. Zhou's story is emblematic of a country in the throes of rapid change, torn between tradition and modernity, challenge and opportunity, morality and corruption. Hopefully there is a good end in sight.

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