Clinton urged to condemn birth law

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 December, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 December, 1993, 12:00am

THE Clinton administration now needs to spell out to China its concerns about the offensive elements of the draft law to ''avoid new births of inferior quality'', the New York Times said in an editorial yesterday.

''It needs to make clear the explosive impact it could have on American public and political opinion. If the administration is to win public support for its reconciliation efforts, it needs to make clear to China that Americans think its scheme for preventing 'inferior' people is wrong,'' it said in an editorial.

It said China's announcement last week of a new draft law to ''avoid new births of inferior quality'' explicitly refers to ''more than 10 million disabled persons who could have been prevented through better controls''.

It said Americans and others outside China should not hesitate to express their horror over the draft legislation.

''Even this late in the Chinese legislative process, constructive criticisms might yet have some positive influence.'' It said the draft bill is entitled ''On Eugenics and Health Protection'', and some of the health protection goals were justifiable - for example, discouraging women carrying the hepatitis virus from becoming pregnant before treatment.

But others are ''scientifically absurd'', like sterilising those with conditions unlikely to be passed on to their offspring, it said.

The compulsory tactics envisioned by the draft were absolutely repugnant, the editorial said.

''For months, the Clinton administration has been trying to get the venom out of the US-China relationship. Beijing has at least been willing to listen to suggestions about what it can do to help,'' it said.