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China Slams U.S. for Pulling Money

July 24, 2002

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BEIJING (AP) _ A Chinese family planning agency criticized Washington’s decision to withhold money from the U.N. Population Fund and said U.S. worries about China’s use of the money are unfounded.

The Bush administration announced Monday that it was withholding $34 million, saying money from the U.N. fund went to Chinese agencies that carry out ``coercive programs″ involving abortion.

China denies that its family-planning program, which limits most couples to one child, uses forced abortions. The U.N. Population Fund also denies supporting forced abortions.

``We regret that the U.S. government has made such a decision, which will no doubt have a negative impact on the international population and development program,″ the state newspaper China Daily quoted an unnamed spokesperson for the State Family Planning Commission as saying.

Officials of the agency weren’t immediately available for comment.

A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it hadn’t received any communication from the Chinese government about the issue.

The Chinese spokesperson cited fact-finding missions by a U.S. delegation and another from Britain into family planning, saying they showed China was in ``complete conformity″ with international family-planning guidelines.

The two delegations _ the Americans in May and the British in April _ reportedly found no evidence that the U.N. program facilitates forced sterilizations and abortions.

U.S. officials said President Bush is likely to shift the $34 million to family planning organizations run by the U.S. State Department’s Agency for International Development.

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