Men in China hoping to donate their sperm must now pledge their loyalty to the nation’s Communist Party and exhibit good political qualities in order to be considered a proper donor.
According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), a Beijing hospital running a sperm donation campaign this month outlined these requirements on its social media account amid the country’s continuing efforts to ensure its citizens’ commitment to the ruling party.
The Third Hospital of Peking University listed the usual criteria, including that potential donors be in good health, but that they also must have “favorable political qualities.”
“[The donors must] love the socialist motherland and embrace the leadership of the Communist Party,” the notice said. “[He must] be loyal to the party’s tasks, be decent, law-abiding and be free of any political problems.”
The hospital also required the participants be over 20 years old and show no obvious signs of hair loss, color blindness or weight problems.
Potential donors are required to pass two rounds of tests, including one that checks the quality of their sample and another for general health and fitness. However, according to a doctor on the hospital consultation hotline interviewed by the SCMP, there currently is no test used to affirm one’s political reliability.
“It would be fine as long as you consider yourself suitable,” the doctor said.
China recently revoked its strict one-child-per-family policy in 2016 and now allows two children in most families, though this has created higher demand for donated sperm. According to a report by Beijing Youth Daily, less than 20 percent of donated sperm is suitable for fertilization, and the country currently has only 23 sperm banks nationwide.
Notably, in the context of sperm donation, any sort of “political loyalty” traits are not hereditary and therefore would not be passed down generationally. It was unclear whether the hospital itself or China’s ruling party initiated the requirements.
These new sperm bank requirements are another way in which China hopes to curtail any sort of political free-thinking. The People’s Republic is trying to control the general population, including rumors that the nation will soon launch the world’s biggest propaganda machine, “The Voice of China.” The new entity will likely be created through merging China’s central television and radio broadcasts, and is designed to boost the party’s ability to shape and alter public opinion.