Vice President Joe Biden’s refusal to “second-guess” China’s coercive population control policy has drawn strong disapproval from American opponents of the controversial program.

During a major address Aug. 21 in China, Biden answered a question on the U.S. deficit from a university audience by referring to the need to deal with federal entitlement programs such as Medicare, which he described as a “safety net.” He also cited the communist country’s lack of a “safety net.”

“Your policy has been one which I fully understand — I’m not second-guessing — of one child per family,” Biden said, according to a White House transcript. “The result being that you’re in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people. Not sustainable.

“So hopefully we can act in a way on a problem that’s much less severe than yours, and maybe we can learn together from how we can do that,” he said.

Biden’s analysis of China’s growing problems with an aging populous after more than three decades of its “one-child” policy may be on target, but his seeming indifference to a program that includes forced abortion and involuntary sterilization prompted criticism and calls for clarification.

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