Posted by: oliviapontet | November 25, 2012

The one-child policy

One child policy - the ideal family!

One child policy – the ideal family! (Photo credit: antwerpenR)

I am often asked the question, whether the famous one-child policy is still valid in China and if it really is applied. I understand easily that for Western populations, such a policy to limit births, implausible. The one-child policy, however, is a truth that we interact on a daily basis, even in our time.

Brief history

When Mao Zedong came to power in 1949, he encouraged the birth because “we need to produce arms” and a large population contributes to the emergence of a strong and vigorous nation. Until population growth in China was quite slow due to a high mortality rate.

This is from the early 50s that the Chinese population will dramatically increase from 450 million to 900 million in the mid 70s or double within 25 years. This uncontrolled population growth will worry the authorities of the country to seek quickly stifle and adverse demographic bomb that would have on the country’s modernization consequences. A series of control measures will then be put in place to achieve the one-child policy, initiated by Deng Xiaoping in 1979.

What is it there?

As its name suggests, the one-child policy allows only one child per couple. If this measurement is relatively well received in cities, it is very difficult to implement in rural areas where the masculine force is necessary. In 1984, the Chinese government will ease some of its policy of birth control. Therefore, it is now possible, for example, in rural areas, to have a second child if the first is a girl. Same thing for parents whose first child has a physical or mental disability.

You should know that the restrictions on births officially affect the ethnic Han majority representing more than 90% of the population of China. Minorities are not affected. Women married to foreigners are not subject either.

Finally, since 1997, urban couples compounds themselves only children are allowed to have a second offspring.

Officially, if a couple conceive a second child who is not allowed, it must pay a fine of about 5,000 yuan. In addition to the fines and social pressure by the administration on the family, the children of illegal births are denied Hukou (document essential for many adminsitrative approaches) and therefore many rights to education, health …

What are the consequences?

According to the Chinese government, the one-child policy has prevented some 400 million births over the past thirty years. Beijing boasts the effectiveness of this approach must be able to adapt according to the changing demographics of the country. No matter now dropping.

One of the main negative consequences of this policy of birth control is the emergence of a demographic imbalance.

Birth control, combined with the continuous increase in life expectancy leads inexorably aging of the Chinese population. This, as we all know, could have dramatic social consequences in the long term.

In addition, the demographic balance male / female is disturbed. In China, 120 boys are born for every 100 girls (against 105 boys for 100 girls in France), which is far from the normal ratio.

Another consequence of which it is difficult to determine the impact on the long term is the emergence of a generation “children of kings”, to whom nothing is denied. These spoiled rotten children, often obese, do not have all the same references as the previous generations and this may accelerate the phenomenon of individualism already begun by urbanization and capitalism and create a violent social and generational shift may undermine the hegemony of power.

One child policy

One child policy (Photo credit: kattebelletje)

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