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LinkAsia | Mar 11
China's annual National People's Congress just completed its first week, and there are signs that this Congress is going to be different from the b...
The publicity surrounding China's first manned space docking is putting the spotlight on the country's first female astronaut, Liu Yang. She's been celebrated as a source of national pride in China. In contrast, the story of another Chinese woman has had the opposite effect. Her name is Feng Jianmei. She was forced to undergo a late-term abortion by Chinese officials, and her ordeal has become a source of national embarrassment.
This post was one of the most popular ones on Sina Weibo, a Chinese version of Twitter. It was forwarded more than 80,000 times before it was censored and deleted:
"We can put a female astronaut into space, we can also forcefully abort the 7-month old fetus of a village woman -- the contrast between the lives of these two women is the best illustration of the torn state of this nation."
He went on to say:
"Glory and dreams illuminate shame and despair. The most cutting-edge technology is accompanied by the shameless trampling of the people. Rockets fly, morals sink. The nation rises, while the people kneel. This is how the best of times meets the worst of times."
Another post quickly summed up the media coverage surrounding the two incidents:
"The whole world sees China as a joke."
A milder point of view encouraged compassion for both women:
"I wish the best of luck to Liu Yang, but I care more about Feng Jianmei. Liu Yang is one of the elite, Feng Jianmei is a regular person -- two classes, two fates. While you're proudly cheering [for one], can you spare some sympathy [for the other]?"
Meanwhile, one angry man lamented that the illegal forced abortions would continue:
"Unforgivable. The Family Planning Commission hasn't just done this once or twice; it does it all the time! Chinese law is unable to punish these abominable acts."
In response to the incident, the local government has suspended three officials for their involvement in the forced abortion.