Examining China’s One-Child Policy

Marketplace recently ran a week-long series on China’s one-child policy, covering its history, the life of only children, parental expectations, exceptions to the rule, and the future economic repercussions of the policy. This is well worth listening to (and it’s a good idea to read the accompanying interviews and articles as well). In short, the one-child policy is coming home to roost, and the prospects for the future gender gap (fewer women compared to men) is sobering.

Marketplace Shanghai Bureau Chief Scott Tong concludes his three-year posting in China with an in-depth series about the controversial policy that restricts many Chinese families to having no more than one child. In this multimedia series we look at how the one-child policy in China came into being 30 years ago and how it has evolved. We examine the highly-programmed lives of so-called “Little Emperors” and the way in which businesses market to them. We investigate if Chinese citizens actually want bigger families in a rapidly urbanizing and often materialistic society. And we look at the economic repercussions of the policy in terms of future labor shortages to find out if China’s days as the cheap-labor “factory of the world” are numbered.

Click on this link for the whole series.

One thought on “Examining China’s One-Child Policy

  1. This is so sad. I don’t think people really realize what is happening here. The Chinese are so obsessed with things and getting their children ahead that they don’t see they left the most important concept behind…the need for religion. There are Christian missionaries in China but they are greatly hampered by the government because China is Atheist. These children have no concept of christian values and morals. The need to obtain heaven at all costs. They would much rather have what they want now and not deal with any spiritual costs.

    Some people might say that the world is overpopulated because of the starvation levels occurring around the world. But almost all of those instances can be attributed to corrupt government, lack of organization in the government, or one group of people suppressing another. Like the article stated in “How China’s one-child policy came to be” – Shortages came largely from botched state planning, says demographer Wang Feng, at the University of California, Irvine. But the convenient scapegoat was too many people.

    It makes me ill to read other articles about how the Chinese government enforces their policies. You must have permission to have a child, even if you don’t have one yet. If you do not gain that permission before getting pregnant the child conceived illegally will be aborted and a fine is imposed. Sometimes the officials can be bribed with money. There are some underground families who have 6 kids, but the family always runs the risk of the officials not taking the bribe. Abortion is legal in all stages of pregnancy, even to the hour before birth, in China. The government will also do forced sterilizations, especially on those who break the rules if they are deemed a risk. That is why you read in the article “In China: More Kids or More stuff?” – Indeed, the rural hills outside town are emptying out. Only old people are left. Among them, the mom of Qin Yijiao, our friend with the Jetta. When she was pregnant with him, back in 1981, the county was still under the standard one-child policy — and she already had one. Qin Yijiao’s mother: People from the Communist Brigade said I couldn’t have a second baby. But I was determined. I needed a son to work the farm. She somehow evaded the birth police and delivered her son in the cave where they lived. Qin Yijiao’s mother:Then, they penalized me. I had to pay double the price for grain. And they confiscated the family’s precious TV and sewing machine. But here’s the thing: That son conceived at great risk to be a farmer, never worked the land a day in his life.

    It is so important as Christian women and mothers that we teach our children that God is the most important in our lives, not things. God gave us the right to procreate because we are bringing people into the world who may one day populate heaven. This world is so temporary and we need to remember that we are training up the next generation for God’s glory, not ours.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s