Good Example Of China’s One Child Policy And Its Consequences Research Paper
The scope selected for this research paper is the whole country of China. The two very basic things about China are that it is a powerful and sovereign state in the Eastern Asia and is the most populated country in the world. However, it is not the biggest area wise, as that title is special to Brazil; it still has the most number of people living in it. It is easier to imagine how many Chinese are there from the fact that every 6th person in the world is a Chinese. Despite being a model state for other countries to follow their footsteps and regardless of making progress by leaps and bound, economically, China is not at all satisfied with the social prosperity of the country.
The same population that drives the country’s economy tends to pose a threat to its well-being. Agriculture and farming is a very commonly adopted and noble profession to have in China, however, the main source of income in China now is the industry that has covered pretty much everything that ever possibly could be. Regardless of how high on earning the Chinese government is, they are always at the threat to one day become too little on income as compared to expenses that have to bear with such an enormous population.
China’s One Child Policy:-
Population control and population management are an area of prime concern for almost all the countries in the world. It is very common for state governments to plan their population and to make relevant policies. The easiest thing that the Chinese government could think of was to put sanction on giving birth to more than one child per couple. This seemed to be a great way to halt the exceedingly accelerating population of China.
If this was never done, the related agencies of the Chinese government warned to have too many people to feed, provide shelter to, provide justice to and to generally manage (Rosenberg, 2009).
However, there is one largely misconceived thing in this matter, one child policy is a phrase used for a policy that involves offspring control by the government, while the permissible count might or might not be one child. For instance, in the early times, in China, people were allowed to have two children and were encouraged to marry at a later age. Some statistics reveals that it immediately showed brilliant results in some matters like life expectancy and infancy deaths.
Before the times of 1950, 227 children in China out of every 1000 used to die in infancy; either during delivery or soon after their birth. The count decreased to just 53, which was an enormous success back in the year 1981. Now, the death rate in infancy is even lower. Similarly, in the times before 1950s only 35 years was an average Chinese individual’s life expectancy.
The expectancy increase to almost double in the years 1980 to 66 years making it the highest difference ever recorded across the world. This happened due to the fact that with fewer children taking birth, doctors and nurses were finally sufficient for everyone’s attention. In addition, the state could afford to manage health for people, and as China grew in power and technology, they could produce life-saving and life-enhancing medicines to take the age up to that level.
There is one more important thing regarding the establishment of this policy. It was originally designed and introduced to be applicable to one generation of people but went on to last through the age of China since then. The policies went on to evolve with the passage of time, and several amendments were made to it. The policy was relaxed in some provinces of China and rules were changed from having only one child to two, with the name of the policy remaining the same.
Education is also of prime concern in China. Here again, the education sector is fully controlled by the state like health sector. With fewer children to provide education to, the standard of education can be afforded to bring up.
Similarly, in the year 2008 when Sichuan earthquake caused a lot of deaths in the province of Sichuan, the local government decided to put the policy out of effect so that parents that had lost their children could give birth and the overall population could stabilize. The policy has been appreciated, but not so much as it has been criticized by the global bodies as well as experts for being too short visionary. This policy does not provide a solution to the problem at hand, rather brings harm in the way of social sustainability of China in several ways.
Consequences of One Child Policy of China:-
The very first problem that arises with the policy is that socially speaking, especially in the Eastern and Asian region, men are preferred over women with a lot of criticism as to why is it so. However, since that is not the debate here, it is not that hard to imagine how and why Chinese parents performed almost 400 million abortions since the policy has been brought to effect. In addition, this is just an official count, the number of abortions that took place in hospitals and clinics. Careful statistics shows that only 40% of abortion cases have been reported for several reasons. One is that parents do not allow their action to be counted for privacy reasons, and some abortion clinics are just not regularized to be counted in (Asia Pacific Economics Blog, 2014).
Overall, several abortions were made and are being made. There are two main reasons as to why parents went on to do abortions. One is that they already had their allotted number if children allowed by the state and so they aborted the next to avoid a legal violation. The second reason, however, is the one that is more horrific. When parents knew that they were about to have a girl, the aborted the child and kept upon knowing they had a son.
Cross-linking it with the adoption rates, they have greatly declined too as it has become very expensive for adopting parents to do so. Cases are found abundantly when couples kept a child and never aborted thinking they will have a male child. However, if it turned out to be a girl, they would simply let childless couples adopt them so that they can have a son.
Sex Ratio Imbalance:
Sex ratio is the percentage of females in a given region per 100 males. This ratio if in balance signifies good social health and sustainability. Whereas imbalance can put a question mark, on whether or not will the society be able to flourish? The sex ratio in China before the one-child policy was introduced was more or less in good balance. The state officials confess that before 1950s, the state machinery was too feeble and the population in comparison too big to accurately measure. Careful projections and assessments, however, indicate that before the policy, the sex ratio was in good balance and possible females were more in number than men.
Because of the policy, as the parents went on to abort girl children, they have ended up gathering 120 males per every 100 females with 20 males having no female to marry with. The issue here is of the provision of the basic right to have a spouse. Which when not satisfied leads to other social problems like rape, prostitution, and violence? Some people also take the policy as means to promote the minorities, as they have not been strictly bound to follow the policy. Only the Han ethnic group that constitutes 91% of the total Chinese population is under the strict effect of this policy.
The State conducted projections are horrifying and make fun of the policy. The rate at which population is increasing, by the year 2025 it is empirical that there will be 30 million young male adults in marrying age, trying to find a wife to settle down and have a family with, but will eventually fail.
Disadvantages to Incompliant Families:
China has always been known to reside strict rulers and well-disciplined people ever since the Chinese revolution. Whatever the Chinese government decides to implement, the public has to follow strict laws and policies that follow in its implementation. Those who do not comply with them for having ideological or otherwise differences are dealt with the machinery of the state.
The time has passed and has nurtured the society to think that the families and couples who are not compliant with the state laws are deviant and are not loyal to the country. The public and the state hence look them down upon as well. The families that give birth to more than one child in China have to face heavy fines that are relatively substantial. In a country that already has a rather low per capita income, these fines take away from them more than half of their incomes.
The state absolutely refuses to provide the families with more children equal facilities as those that have one child. So much so, the civil services and government sector jobs in China have shut the doors on people who are part of such families (Ghasemi, 2014).
Psychological Issues of Children:
As the government openly opposes and discourages giving birth to more than one child, children face several psychological issues. Firstly, those children that is a single child of family lack the family nurture in the presence of siblings. Then those who have siblings face problems being called as deviant and considered as taboo in the society. From a very early time in their childhood, they face tremendous social and governmental pressure that their fate has been sealed, and it is about to get worst (Torrent, 2013).
According to experts, the policy has failed altogether. Not in terms of ethics, not in terms of long term effects, but simply in its purpose. They back their opinion with statistics and prove their point is saying the population has still increased drastically. The policy had a main purpose to control the population that it has altogether failed to do. Now, given the social problems that it has caused as its cost the fruits of this policy are not as sweet as they should have been.
One Child per Several Adults:
What the Chinese population planner clearly overlooked while making this policy is the fact that the single children are after all going to age. When they do, they have one child to take care of them, and when that child grows old, he has one child to take care of him. Now, in a country where life expectancy is good, this is not a very good sign. Resultantly, there will be just one child to take care of three and even four generations of old people up in the family. Now taking into account the low earning of that child, he is in a great trouble to manage finances (Golley, 2013).
As the health sector is government based in China, the state is responsible to provide health facilities to the citizens. In the presence of so many old people, the government will eventually have to bear the expenses of a large portion of public with fewer young people to work in their stead. This can lead to China losing the advantage of bearing a productive population to a disadvantage of being an overly populated old nation.
Unemployment is always an issue with such overly populated countries. Regardless of how busy China’s industry is, there still are not enough jobs for all the men and women to occupy. As a result, one of two spouse i.e. either the husband or the wife remains unemployed. On average it has been seen that an earning male has the following dependents, wife, one child, two parents, parents of parents, two parents of the wife, and possibly the parents of these parents.
Future Expectation from the Policy:-
If the policy remains in effect, in the coming time it will cause enormous social and economic problems for China that will be rather unsolvable. Being part of United nations, China is and will remain deviant from the rules made by the organization. Parents in China have a basic right to decide when and how many children they wish to have. Depending on their affordability, they can have as many children as they can easily provide for.
This policy forces them to abort additional children and tempers with their well-reserved rights to decide their child count. Doing so, a never-ending debate on abortions has been triggered that is since inclined in its con. Barely any human rights are not being violated by China in this matter. In addition, regardless of how much the Chinese government states it is for the “bigger good” it still is not.
As the time passes, more and more responsibilities are being endowed in the working, earning hands of Chinese societies. Taking care of elders that are at least 4 in count and then earning bread for their spouse and for child to start with, soon enough, state will become too poor to afford so much expense on elderly health leading to self-financing requirements.
Poverty was supposed to reduce after this policy, yes; it has in a way that the government is so far being able to provide for its citizens. However, as this umbrella closes, the populations will very quickly downside towards poverty. Like other places in the world, in China too there is an increasing gap between the rich and the poor. Richer people are often able to get away from a “crime” to have given birth to more children than one but the poor ones cannot.
Rich people do not get bothered much by the fine they have to pay for every child that exceeds the permissible limit; the working class simply cannot afford it. The situation will worsen in another way that is the shortage of working class in the future. People always find ways to loophole the laws in their own favor, leading to policy failure. Chinese couples can give birth to more children than one provided they are in another country. Hong Kong is a favored state for Chinese where these couples go and have more children to come barely ever back.
This will lead to a population of Chinese couples in other countries of the world. Those couples that will be able to afford will move to advanced countries during the others in poorer countries are eventually causing population troubles for them. The even bigger issue for China is that skilled earning and healthy people now tend to move away from China to US, Australia, Canada and UK where they can have desired number of children. This is causing a severe brain drain in China. Statistics shows that every year hundreds of healthy, well-educated, and trained couples are moving out of the country, mainly due to this very reason.
Please remember that this paper is open-access and other students can use it too.
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