Essay About Chinas One Child Policy History

Case study: China

Cyclists in Beijing, China

In the late 1970s, the Chinese government introduced a number of measures to reduce the country's birth rate and slow the population growth rate. The most important of the new measures was a one-child policy, which decreed that couples in China could only have one child.

  • In 1950 the rate of population change in China was 1.9 per cent each year. If this doesn't sound high, consider that a growth rate of only 3 per cent will cause the population of a country to double in less than 24 years!
  • Previous Chinese governments had encouraged people to have a lot of children to increase the country's workforce. But by the 1970s the government realised that current rates of population growth would soon become unsustainable.

The one-child policy

The one-child policy, established in 1979, meant that each couple was allowed just one child. Benefits included increased access to education for all, plus childcare and healthcare offered to families that followed this rule.

Problems with enforcing the policy:

  • Those who had more than one child didn't receive these benefits and were fined.
  • The policy was keenly resisted in rural areas, where it was traditional to have large families.
  • In urban areas, the policy has been enforced strictly but remote rural areas have been harder to control.
  • Many people claim that some women, who became pregnant after they had already had a child, were forced to have an abortion and many women were forcibly sterilised. There appears to be evidence to back up these claims.

Impact of the policy

  • The birth rate in China has fallen since 1979, and the rate of population growth is now 0.7 per cent.
  • There have been negative impacts too - due to a traditional preference for boys, large numbers of female babies have ended up homeless or in orphanages, and in some cases killed. In 2000, it was reported that 90 per cent of foetuses aborted in China were female.
  • As a result, the gender balance of the Chinese population has become distorted. Today it is thought that men outnumber women by more than 60 million.

Long-term implications

China's one-child policy has been somewhat relaxed in recent years. Couples can now apply to have a second child if their first child is a girl, or if both parents are themselves only-children.

While China's population is now rising more slowly, it still has a very large total population (1.3 billion in 2008) and China faces new problems, including:

  • the falling birth rate - leading to a rise in the relative number of elderly people
  • fewer people of working age to support the growing number of elderly dependants - in the future China could have an ageing population

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Essay on China's One Child Policy

794 Words4 Pages

The one child policy was adopted to help improve economic, environment, and population problems in China. The policy was used to limits the number of children that couples can have. When , the law was introduced it was only supposed to help with the overpopulation but , it has caused many children to be left and abandoned. Although China has a population problem, the one child policy was not the right way to handle the situation.
There has been a long history of China’s one child policy, since it was first introduces in 1979 by a Chinese Leader Deng Xiaoping (Rosenberg n.p). The law was meant to be temporary and used to control the population; however it is still in use today (Rosenberg n.p). When the policy was first enforced, it only…show more content…

The one child policy was adopted to help improve economic, environment, and population problems in China. The policy was used to limits the number of children that couples can have. When , the law was introduced it was only supposed to help with the overpopulation but , it has caused many children to be left and abandoned. Although China has a population problem, the one child policy was not the right way to handle the situation.
There has been a long history of China’s one child policy, since it was first introduces in 1979 by a Chinese Leader Deng Xiaoping (Rosenberg n.p). The law was meant to be temporary and used to control the population; however it is still in use today (Rosenberg n.p). When the policy was first enforced, it only allowed one child per family , but it was recently changed to allow couples to have two children but only if either one of the parents is an only child (William n.p). If ,someone were to break the policy their punishment would result in fines. Forced abortions, abandonment, and infanticide are some of the things people are doing so that they do not have to pay these fines.
There are many exceptions to this policy. For example a couple can have a second child if the first one is born with defects (Rosenberg n.p.) Also if a family’s first child is a girl in a rural area they are allowed to apply for a second one. If they are allowed to have a second child they must first wait three to four years their first birth. However, the exception does

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