One Child Policy in China

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"For a prosperous, powerful nation and a happy family, please use birth planning." (Government sign in Nanchang, China)


China’s population surge during the second half of the 20th century was largely man-made. It had put China’s policymakers a pressure to slow down the rapid increase in a huge population as it was a development burden for the country. Going into effect since 1981, the One-child policy refers to the one-child limitation on most families in the population control of the People’s Republic of China.[1] This law is strictly enforced in urban areas but more relaxed in rural areas, especially when the first baby happens to be a girl.[2] Over its first twenty years, the rule has been estimated to have reduced population growth in the country of 1.3 billion by as much as 300 million people.[3]

Up till now, this policy has been a controversial matter in China’s society. Debates keep continuing among scholars and leaders as to whether a second child should be allowed, and whether it is time for change. However, refuting rumors of a relaxation in the family planning measure, according to a Chinese official, the one child policy will remain unaltered during the 12th Five Year Plan period (2011-2015).[4]


1. How many of you are sibling-less child? Share your feelings.

2. What do you think the advantages of this policy are?

3. What do you think the disadvantages of this policy are?

4. Do you think this policy should be more relaxed and in which way it should be changed?

5. When should the government change this policy?


Useful readings:

[1] Wikipedia,

[2] Demographics and wealth of nations,

[3] Matt Rosenburg, China’s one child policy, (17 Nov...
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