China ends ‘One Child Policy’

November 9, 2015
Chaerin Lee  Fairmont Prep Academy 9th grade

Chaerin Lee
Fairmont Prep Academy
9th grade

As China’s population reached 1 billion in 1979, the Chinese government had established the one-child policy to reduce the birth rate. This rule was generally enforced by financial consequences, and in some cases, violent punishments such as loss of employment or forced abortion for families that had more than one child.

However, this law was unfair to many Chinese citizens because there were too many exceptions. First, ethnic minorities and citizens in rural areas of China were excluded from the policy. Some wealthy families who could afford the fine could easily bypass the restrictions as well.

Additionally, parents’ preference of male children in accordance to the policy resulted in an unbalanced gender ratio throughout China. Many girls were not reported legally, abandoned, placed in orphanages, aborted, or in some extreme cases, fell victim to female infanticide.

Today, the restrictions of the one-child policy have been relaxed to allow couples to have two children if at least one of them is an only child in the family. Also, the rule was changed for rural families, which can now have two children if the first child is a girl.

In multiple cases, the policy resulted in controversies throughout China. The policy not only gave China an imbalanced gender ratio, but also increased the age gap throughout the Chinese population, which means that there is no balance between the youth (ages 0-24) and the elderly (ages 65+).

Now, the Chinese government is concerned that the population will be too old before the country becomes rich, so it ended the one-child policy and currently allows all couples to have two children.

The one-child policy has prevented over 400 million births since it was established.

Ending the one-child policy may not cause an immediate population boom in China, however. Because Chinese citizens have been restricted to have only one child for decades, families now have a perception that one child is enough to raise. Also, not many families in China can afford to raise two children due to the competitive educational environment, as it obviously takes more money to do so.

Changing the norm of bearing only one child and expecting a boom in population may take time.


One Comment

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