China’s Brutal One-Child Policy

Posted: September 07, 2016

China is one of the technological and economic hubs that experiences a robust population growth. In the bid to regulate the number of children born in the country, the Chinese government adopted several measures to reduce the ever-growing population rate in the late 1970s. The one child policy is one of the legislations enacted during that period (passed in 1979) with an aim of reducing the child-birth rate and strengthening the economy. This law is unequally applicable to various groups of people as it allows couples to have only one child and two children for those of the ethnic minority groups or those whose first child is a girl and live in the rural areas (Jian, 2013).

Individuals who are wealthy may not feel the wrath of this law significantly as they can pay the social compensation fee that is around three to ten times the annual income for an average household to circumvent this law. This fee is set by the family planning bureaus of the various provinces of China (Jian, 2013). The wealthy can also travel to other countries around the globe to give birth such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, or the United States.

On the contrary, the poor have to suffer the consequences of the law if they happen to break this policy. The government employs family planning officers and distribute them to the villages. These officials record the pelvic exam results and the menstrual cycles of the women who are aged enough to bear children. In the case that a woman is pregnant without permission, the regulations will force her to an extreme penalty for failure to follow the policy. The ladies are who are unable to pay the fine risk experiencing forced abortion.

According to the theory demographic transition, whenever the population of a place grows, the growth patterns will vary as the society experiences technological progress. The Chinese infrastructure is outstanding, and the country endures tremendous technological progression. The one-child policy thus appears to be beneficial as the population growth rate is monitored. The law ensures that China continues to thrive economically as poverty rates reduce. The mortality rates in China have significantly reduced as well. The Malthusian theory can also demonstrate China's position. This demographic theory suggests that robust progression in population leads to outpace food production resulting in social chaos. The bold step of enacting this law in 1979 was vital as there would be conflict over food due to overpopulation in this country.

However, the one-child policy in China has brutal consequences. The population distribution trends in China has substantially been altered due to this decree. Close to sixty percent of the citizens of the economic giant of Asia are of the masculine gender. The rates of abortions are also high especially among the poor who do not have the capability of paying a penalty for violating the policy. In most cases, the girls are aborted before birth and due to the preference of the boy child. In 2013, the Chinese Ministry of Health released data that estimated the number of abortions from 1971 at 336 million (Jian, 2013). In addition to this humongous number, 222 million sterilizations were carried out. The suicide rates among the individuals of the feminine gender in China is one of the highest in the world as women no longer have the control over their bodies since the inception of the one-child rule.