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China's One Child Policy
Historically, it is noted that Mao Zedong, once a China president encouraged population growth which saw the population of China almost double during that period of his leadership. This led to overpopulation and the stretching of the social amenities and most importantly the economy. In order to address this challenge, the one -- child policy was introduced in China. This is a policy which forbids any family from having more than one child especially in the urban areas. This was a rule that was established under the watch of Deng Xiaoping in 1979 as a temporary measure to the challenge of overpopulation, albeit more than four decades down the line, the policy still is in enforcement and there are no signs of it beings scrapped from the legislation of China (Matt Rosenberg, 2011).
There were punitive measures that are put in place in order to enforce this directive. Parents with multiple children are denied some benefits and bonuses at their places of work. The wealthy families at time have to pay the government in order to be allowed to have a second child or even more.
There are however, some exemptions to the one-child policy and these couples who are permanently residing at the rural areas, couples that are from the ethnic minorities and parents who are without siblings. There are also a few other cases of exemptions that can be approved like in the case where the first child has some permanent disability or mental illness. There were also recent exemptions in the case of Sichuan earthquake in 2008 where the exemption was announced in Sichuan province to the parents who had lost their children in the earthquake. There are also such exemptions that have been passed for parents who had lost their children (Andrew Jacobs, 2008). There are also exemptions passed for specific administrative regions of Hong Kong as well as Macau, the other lot that are exempt from this rule the foreigners living in China and those Chinese who had children while living outside China as long as these children to no acquire the China citizenship.
The policy was primarily aimed at the first-born children in the year 1978 and was purposed to check against the social degradation, economic problems and environmental challenges that China faced at that time. So far, the officials in China estimate that the policy has helped avoid 300 million births from the time of implementation to the year 2000 (Jeffrey Hays, 2008). This is the equivalent of the population of Europe and as they say, this prevention of the births has helped to a great extent pull China out of poverty and made people's lives better.
The one child policy in China can be noted to have bee spectacularly successful in many aspects as there has never been achieved the rate of decline in fertility rates anywhere else in a predominantly peasant communities as has been realized in china within that short period of time. Despite the setbacks and the delays the policy has had notable results (Botton Beja F, Cornejo Bustamante R, 2011).
Social costs of the policy
The policy is as controversial as the implementation of it. There have been concerns from time immemorial of the negative social implications that the policy may have. This policy has firstly caused a lot of disdain for the female infants since many preferred to have male children who will marry and in the process expand the family. This disdain has led to other fat reaching actions like abortion upon knowing the sex of the infant, neglect after birth, abandonment of newborn baby girls and even infanticides have been noted to occur among the female infants (Gendercide Watch, 2000 ).
This draconian rule has also resulted into an artificial tilting of the ratios of the male to females in China. It is estimated that there are 114 males for every 100 females; this is against the normal trend where there are usually 105 males naturally born fir every population of 100 females. This lopsided ration is exacerbated by the selective female infants abortion that has been occasioned by the one-child policy imposed on the people of China. However this might soon change as the urbanization has made matters better since many urban women do not have a preference for any sex for their yet to be infants and would accommodate any gender (BMJ Publishing Group, 2011).
It is worth noting that the other negative effect of the policy is the unrest that the forced abortion that women without permission are forced to undergo. This was widely experienced widely in 20077 in the southwestern Guangxi Autonomous Region of China, where the supervising officials or the population control officials may have been killed.
This policy has also led to the undue harassment of women who have transcended the boundary and gotten pregnant with a second child. Incase the mother goes in hiding, the relatives are usually arrested and detained at times tortured till the woman surrenders to the officials. This is a system that punishes even the parties that are not directly concerned with the so alleged 'crime' with total disregard for the dependants that they have left at home (Jeffrey Hays, 2008).
This policy is also known to deny the couples that had the desire to have more than one child the opportunity to do so. This was more pronounced in the rural areas where this discontent with the policy raised so much trouble in the rural China that the government had to concede grounds in the rural areas and allow the possibility of having two children.
The low birth rate worked for the economy of China at first, but as at now, the economists are projecting that this may work against the country in the nest five years or so, since the labor supply is now leveling off and is expected to start shrinking in the next five years with the population of the dependent elderly increasing each day. It is feared that by 2040, China might be a country that is growing old having not achieved the full economic growth (New Media Foundation Ltd., 2011).
Unintended consequences of the policy
One of the most outstanding consequences of the program that was not the original intention and was not foreseen is the skewed ratio of men to females in China. China's government predicts that by 2020 there is a possibility that there will be 30 million more men than women. This is due to the preference for males than female children as expounded on above.
The other unintended consequence that came with the implementation of this policy over the years is the possibility of Chinese importing women from outside China to become their mistresses. This will be perpetuated by two major situations. The middle class person will be richer due to the ever growing economy of China and consequently be able to afford abortion safely. This couple with the fact that the ratio of women to men will remain tilted in favor of men over a long period of time, the scarcity of Chinese women will mean men will have no option but to import women as they have to have their companions as well despite the policy.
This policy has worked to the advantage of China just as much as it has reversed a lot of things that the country will have to spend time and money to fight to stabilize back to normal. China has a lesson or two to pick from the neighboring countries and other that have suffered the sex ratio imbalance. One of the specific instances is Korea that was the first country to have the challenge of very high male to female ratio because of the attitude that the country in general had in…[continue]
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