China: One Child Policy

Topics: One-child policy, People's Republic of China, Overpopulation Pages: 5 (1736 words) Published: December 9, 2012
The world today consists of almost 6.9 billion people. China itself, serves host to more than 1.2 billion people. This astronomical figure is more than 17% of the enite word population. For centuries China has stood as a leading civilization, outpacing the rest of the world in the arts and sciences. On the other hand, over the last decade, it has also plummeted economically. A big factor for this massive downfall is its overpopulation within the country. Due to this exponential increase in population, the Chinese government has installed a “one-child policy”. The one-child policy solved the overpopulation issue in China, but it also introduced a variety of other problems to the country.

In the early 1900's, China's population was about 420 million. In the past century years, it had grown to 1.2 billion, an increase of almost 800 million people in a 100 years. (Hays) Having this many people in one area means that there is a lot of people to feed, clothe, and house. The population has put a large amount of tension on its limited resources. A quarter of China’s land is either desert, or infertile land, therefore no crops can be grown on the land. Also, it means that people won't want to live on it because they wouldn’t be able to support themselves due to the poor soil. This issue leads to tremendous amounts of population density in the cities. The Chinese government realized that something had to be put in place, otherwise they would never again be able to prosper as a country. They decided to set up a plan to reduce the population growth. It was called “China's one-child policy”. This policy limits a Chinese family to having only one child. Originally, the Chinese government created this policy in order to minimize the

extreme famine that infested the country, but they soon realized that it would also help them succeed economically due to the fact that their overpopulation often held them back. (Fitzpatrick)
The Chinese government refers to it as the family planning policy. “It officially restricts married, urban couples to having only one child, although they do allow exemptions for several cases including; rural couples, ethnic minorities, and parents without any siblings themselves.” (Rosenberg) A spokesperson of the Committee on the One-Child Policy has said that approximately 35.9% of China's population is currently under the one-child restriction. (Nie) The policy was introduced in 1978 and initially applied to first-born children in the year of 1978. The main purpose for this policy was to alleviate social, economic, and environmental problems in China. Along with reducing the population growth, the policy also helps society in other ways. The citizens' savings rate has increased since the one-child policy was introduced. The average Chinese household now uses fewer resources, both in terms of time and money, which gives many Chinese people more money in the long run. The economy is much more stable, and the poverty rates have decreased. (Rosenberg)

Although it has succeeded it relieving the economic stresses on the country, it has also brought to rise some significant problems. The policy has resulted in an increase in forced abortions, female infanticide, and un-reported female births. The reason for this is that in China, male children are very important to the people because they pass on the family name. If a family can only bear one child, and that child happens to be female, there is a high chance that the baby will either be aborted, killed, or given up for adoption. Sexism in China has always been an issue, and now it has become even more of an issue. Males were completely dominant in China.

They did most of the work and were the head of the household. And now with this new policy, there will be far more males than females living in China in the future. Yes, the one-child policy will attempt to significantly reduce the population growth rate, but it might lower it to a point where...
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