China's Population Policy Research Paper

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The One-Child Policy in China
By: Jessie Corbett
Period 6 / 7
November 2009

China’s population has topped the charts for decades, containing over a fifth of the world population,[1] outpacing the rest of the world in technology and arts. That is, until recent years when the “One-Child Policy” was issued in 1979 in order to alleviate social, economic, and environmental problems in China. The “One-Child Policy” has three main objectives: to bolster hindered marriage and hindered child bearing, to achieve fewer, healthier births, and to allow one child per couple. This controversial policy has prevented an estimated 400 million births[2] by infanticide, performing forced abortions, and encouraging neglect and abandonment of children. Despite the policy’s harsh implementation, by enforcing these laws, China’s total fertility rate has dropped significantly, protecting the country from further overpopulation and improving China’s hopes for future development. Therefore, thousands of people around the world question the policy, saying that it might be doing much more harm than good.

China says, in support of the policy, that the country has limited land resources as a result of overpopulation, and it has led to poor education, environmental hazards, malnutrition, poor medical care, and a low quality of life for China’s citizens. Without establishing the policy, China’s population would still suffer, only under different circumstances. The severe malnutrition that already plagued the country would only worsen, and living space would become more and more scarce, possibly even nonexistent for many. Barbara Pillsbury, an American scholar who works for the United Nations Population Agency, said China wouldn’t have achieved so much in its recent development if it did not pursue its population control policy.[3] The enforcement of this law was inculcated only to save China’s future from further, worsened degrees of already existing problems.

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