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National and Global Perspective on Chinese One Child Policy

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“The one-child policy was introduced in 1979 by Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping to curb China’s rapidly growing population” (Connett). Which has been 40 years from now. “Starting on January 1, 2016, all Chinese couples are allowed to have two children. This marks the end of China’s one-child policy, which has restricted the majority of Chinese families to only one child for the last 35 years” (Wang). The reason why this policy was enforced in the first place was to help with the issue of population. However, besides helping this policy took a tremendous turn.

Local/National Perspective:

One reason China’s two child policy should end is because its leading to women have unwanted abortions. “More than half a billion birth control procedures, including at least 336 million abortions, have been performed in the name of the one-child policy… There are more than 13 million abortions a year, or 1,500 an hour, in China, according to government researchers” (Moore). This explains how much pain women and families are going through physically and mentally due to this policy that is enforced in China. When womans go through aborting a child they face serious outcomes such as guilt, shame, eating disorders, thoughts of suicide and a lot more. These effects are temporary for some women their mental wounds heal quickly but for others it may haunt them for life. Although, China’s rate of abortions is so high, but for US the “most recent year for which data is available, a total of 638,169 abortions were reported, a decrease of 2 percent from 652,639 abortions in 2014” (Cha).

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However, the rich don’t worry about china’s policy. One article reads “In China’s cities, the fines for having a second child can run up to 200,000 yuan (£20,000). However, wealthy parents are now either paying the fines outright, finding a way around them, or travelling to Hong Kong where no permit is needed, according to the government. Between 2001 and 2008, nearly 78,000 babies were born in Hong Kong to parents registered as living on the mainland” (Shanghai). This part of an article explains how china’s policy is so unjust because not all parents are wealthy as others. So they cannot pay fees for another child and neither can they travel to Hong Kong or anywhere else to fulfill their family size desire. Out of the 1.386 billion people in China around 9 million of them are considered poor. Therefore most of the China’s residents can save their families and children besides the 9 million of them.

In addition, “The one-child policy in China caused families to want boys over girls. Although girls in China received better opportunities because of the one-child policy, there are fewer women in the country today because of it. The country saw a disparity in the number of boys being born compared to girls. There are 30 million more men in China today compared to women, which may lead to future economic instability” (Ayres). This effect by the one child policy is very extreme. If it continues like this then the women to men ratio will be unbalanced in a large amount. Young men in China fear due to not finding a bride by looking at the studies that between 20 to 34 million more boys than girls were born in the past three decades.

Another reason for why China’s two child policy should come to a end is due to the violation of what many believe is a human right. “Planning the size of one’s family is believed to be a basic human right. In a 1968 proclamation from the International Conference on Human Rights, it was decided that the number and spacing of children in a family is a basic right of the parents. To accommodate the policy, sterilizations were set and perhaps required, though evidence is limited” (Ayres). China’s two child policy is disrupting the right of a family to arrange their desired size of family. This explains why the china’s two child policy should come to a end. 

Personal Perspective:

Mainly the biggest reason why china’s policy should end is because of the pain women’s go through whether it’s physically or emotionally. “It was 25 years ago, but Mao Hengfeng still vividly remembers the piercing cries of her baby. Yet instead of being able to hold her newborn child, she watched helplessly while her baby was drowned in a bucket. She had been seven-and-a-half months pregnant with her fourth child. Under China’s one-child policy, she was carrying the baby “illegally” so she was dragged onto an operating table to have it aborted. “The baby was alive, I could the baby cry,” she said, fighting back tears. “They killed my baby… yet I couldn’t do a thing”” (I Could). This is a interview Of Mao who had to go through unwanted abortions which is not right thing to do in my opinion. If families did not cooperate and had over than one child then they would be punished. These punishments would include a social compensation fee which was decided based on the yearly income of the couple. Sometimes the amount of money they had to pay could be a very high amount and the poor residents couldn’t pay it. Therefore, if they couldn’t pay it they were sent to jail.

Another story reads, “…eight months pregnant woman in southwest China and spoke of her being pressured into an illegal late-term abortion so that her husband would not lose his job. The woman in question, known only by her surname Chen, already has an 11-year-old daughter. Under China’s current version of the one child policy, she and her husband do not meet the criteria to have a second baby” (Ren). However Mao and Chen are not the only womens who have been in these situations there has been a lot more women who have been in incidents like these or even worse who don’t get heard about.

In a article Amandam explains “China’s one-child policy was necessary at the time of its establishment; however, I do not believe that there is a need to keep such a personal policy around over thirty years after it was first enforced. Time change, all other nations grow and evolve, and some policies are ruled out–the one-child policy should be one of them” (My Personal). She shares her personal view on this topic in which I fully agree with her. Although, they had this policy in place for the good of the residents in China it should have a limit. 30 plus years is not very reasonable for this law to be enforced.

Global Perspective:

To begin with, let’s look at all the other countries who also have a child limit. First, India says “those with more than two children will not be able to get government jobs or avail benefits like government housing or contest local body elections” (Child). Although, in Iran “after the eight-year war with Iraq in 1988, the government discouraged people from having more than two children, fearing an economic crisis fuelled by a ballooning population” (Child). Finally, “Introduced in the 1960s in North Vietnam, the policy to restrict the children per couple to two or three has been continued in unified Vietnam since the 1970s and now restricts most couples to two children” (Child).

Moving on, to the countries who encourage couples to have more kids include Singapore, South Korea, Turkey, Japan, and France. The benefits in these countries to have more kids is that residents in Tokyo get a one-time payment of $1,700 per birth. Whereas, “Singapore spends over $1.3 billion on policies to encourage having more children; it also provides tax breaks and extended maternity leave” (Child).

For around 35 years, China had its one child policy including all the forced abortions, sterilizations, hysterectomies and outright murders. But then they decided to loosen it up and allow families to have two child. For almost 4 years they have had the two child policy enforced. However, China thinks that the two child policy caused many unintended consequences. For example, “The fertility level after the universal two-child policy is a key factor that will affect population growth, the proportion of elderly people, the workforce and economic development, the sex ratio, public health, health systems, and the environment” (Zeng). Although, China is not sure whether they want to keep going with the two child policy just a day ago, China was considering to move the policy to a three child policy. Whereas India still carefully thinks about the two child policy.

Not just that they consider a three child policy they even evaluate whether they should end all child policies. “If China’s birth rate doesn’t see a rise after a three-child policy, we should consider ending any sort of family-planning policy…on March 5, a proposal drafted by a deputy to the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature, made some headlines for suggesting that a three-child policy be adopted nationwide to replace the current two-child policy” (Feng).

Courses Of Action:

To conclude, I think this policy should come to a end. I think this because this policy lead to unwanted abortions, unjust between the rich and poor, violation of a human right, and hundreds or more stories of women like Mao and Chen. Also, this policy has been in place for many years and has not been very helpful in any sort of way. It just has lead to more and more consequences. In the first place this policy was adopted in order to help China with overpopulation. But instead this policy caused many childrens to be left alone and abandoned. We all can understand China did have a population problem at first, but this is clearly not the right way to handle the situation.


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