One Child Policy in China

Topics: One-child policy, Abortion, People's Republic of China Pages: 7 (2475 words) Published: March 5, 2008
China is a land that contains an overpopulation crisis. With a current estimated 1.4billion people living in China, something needed to be done in order to lower the birth rates and control the fast growing population. The solution the Chinese government came up with was the one child policy. They set up a number penalties and benefits in order to encourage the Chinese people to cooperate with this policy. The predicted outcome was to reduce the birth rates and reduce their population, which was ultimately affecting the Chinese economy. However, the one child policy created an unexpected crisis of its own, the creation of unequal demographics of gender and the start of a new cultural and economic trend. This paper is going to study the demographic changes between males and females as well as the cultural impact it has had in present day China due to the enactment of the one child policy in 1979.

The reason to why China came into the population crisis was that people in China chose to have such large families because of the high mortality rates of their kids; they would not even live past the age of five. Families perceived that out of those ten kids only half of them would live, opted to have as many as they could to ensure that at least some of their kids would survive. As time passed people still held these beliefs, however medical innovations and better health care helped elongate the lives of those kids, consequently those families that decided to have many kids in order to ensure the lives of a few kids were now realizing that all their kids were living and they were left raising all six to ten kids. This is how the population in China became an excess and ultimately started to affect the country. In the beginning, the whole policy was voluntary where the families chose to use birth control and where educated on the different methods of preventing pregnancy. However, this did not seem to cure the government's crisis, and population was still a real problem so they decided to implement the controversial one child policy. This policy states that no family is to have more than one child, a second child is possible but only under certain circumstances and a third child is never allowed under any situation. In order to push this policy to the whole country, the government set incentives as well as penalties for those who followed the rules and for those who broke it. The incentives benefited the families who chose to have one child. "…Those who apply to be part of the one family policy were able to expect to receive a cash, health or welfare subsidy. The single child has priority of admission to nurseries, schools, hospitals, clinics and in job allocation and all educational and medical fees from birth onwards are to be waived or reduced." (Dawn, Kane pg 45) The government wanted to push this policy because they discovered that they where saving money on every child that was not born, 200 Yuan saved for every child born in cities, 1000 Yuan per child in towns, 400 Yuan per child in the countryside. Just as every family was rewarded for following the policy, there were families who were severely punished for having an excess of children. "The offending family must bear all the costs of the birth and subsequent medical and educational expenses incurred by the extra child and it enjoys no priority in admission to any educational or medical institutions. Parents who reject the single-child family policy are not eligible for promotion or a bonus for a number of years and cannot apple for subsidies in cases of hardships." (Dawn, Kane pg 47) This policy was implemented in order to help the out of control population in China, if the government wanted to reduce their population in a couple of decades they had to take extreme measures, as was the introduction of this policy. The people however have different views regarding the one child per household plan; there are those who view it as one more measure in order for the state...

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