One Child Policy for the Future China Whether It’s Still Favorable to Be Implemented Essay
One Child Policy for the Future China Whether It’s Still Favorable to be Implemented (Based on The Advantages and Disadvantages) By Chemilia Gemilang Bekti International Business Student of Southeast University, Nanjing, China 1 - One Child Policy for the Future China Whether It’s Still Favorable to Be Implemented Essay introduction. Overview The family planning was introduced around 1980 to rein in China’s surging population by encouraging late marriages and pregnancies, as well as limiting most urban couples to one child most rural places couple to two children.
The one child policy family planning was taking in the action of facing the population problem, since China is the world most populous nation which about to get more crowded if not anticipated by central or local government and of course each individual of china citizen.
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However, after about 3 decades of this policy rules the population control helped spur economic growth –but exacted a heavy social cost along the way, there’s another turmoil that’s on report surfaced in international media that in an effort of slow the rapid graying of the workforce, couples encouraged to have two kids if the parents are themselves only children, but contradictory reports are another manifestation of going rumors that Beijing is rethinking controversial one-child-policy. a. History and Background
Soon after the founding of the People’s Republic of China, improved sanitation and medicine prompted rapid population growth that-after a century of wars, epidemics and unrest- was initially seen as an economic boon. “Even if China’s population multiplies many times, she is fully capable of finding solution; the solution is production. ” Mao Zedong proclaimed in 1949. “Of all things in the world, people are the most precious. ” The communist government condemned birth control and banned imports of contraceptives.
However, population growth was taking a toll on nation’s food supply. In 1955 officials launched a campaign to promote birth control, only to have their efforts reversed in 1958 by the Great Leap Forward- Mao’s disastrous attempt to rapidly convert China into a modern industrialized state. “A larger population means greater manpower,” reasoned Hu Yaobang, secretary of the Communist Youth League, at a national conference of youth work representatives that April. “The force of 600 million liberated people is tens of thousands of times stronger than a nuclear explosion. It also proved to be nearly as destructive: with many communities collectivized and converted from farming to steel production, food supplied behind population growth, by 1962 a massive famine had caused some 30 million deaths. In the aftermath, officials quietly resumed a propaganda campaign to limit population growth, only to be interrupted by the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution in 1966; it began again in 1969. A push under the slogan, “Late, Long, and Few” was successful: China’s population growth dropped by half from 1970 to 1976.
But it soon leveled off, prompting officials to seek more drastic measures. In 1979 they introduced a policy requiring couples from China’s ethnic Han majority to have only one child (the law has largely exempted ethnic minorities). b. One Child Policy on Implementation Since 1979, three years after Mao’s death, a one child policy was introduced to control China’s surging population and reduce the strain on scarce of resources. According to the policy it was commonly enforced, a couple was allowed to have one child.
If that child turns out to be a girl, they were allowed to have a second child. After a second child, they were not allowed to have any more children. In some places though couples were only allowed to have one child regardless of whether it’s a boy or girl. It is unusual for a family to have two sons. Depending on where they live, couples can be fined thousands of dollars for having a supernumerary child without a permit, and reports of forced abortions or sterilization are common.
The law also offers longer maternity leave, better child care, cash bonuses, preferential housing assignments, and other benefits to couples that delay childbearing. Those who volunteer to have only one child awarded a “certificate of Honor for Single-Child Parents”, in return they were required to pledge that they would not have more children. Since 1979, the law has prevented some 250 million births; saving China from a population explosion the nations would have difficulty accommodating. 2. One Child Policy Benefit a. Impact on health care
One child policy is implemented by government in order to be more focus on control population includes helps provide a better health service for women and a reduction in the risks of death an injury associated with pregnancy. At family planning offices, women receive free contraception and pre-natal classes. Help is provided for pregnant women to closely monitor their health. In various places in China, the government rolled out a ‘Care for Girls’ program, which aims at eliminating cultural discrimination against girls in rural and underdeveloped areas.
According to the article from yalemedlaw, to answer the healthcare problem, The Chinese government has already begun to provide more funds and employ new initiatives to improve public health, evaluate hospitals through the solicitation of patient feedback, and begin the development of a national health infrastructure. The future of the healthcare system will reap the benefits of government-funded initiatives to funnel medical graduates to rural hospital, performance-based salaries, and clear guidelines for the implementation of up-to-date techniques including referral systems, electronic records, etc.
Furthermore, the government’s support of the growth of the private health sector will surely increase the quality of care by introducing new ideas and competition. b. Economic growth The implementation of the policy has reduced the pressure created by a rapidly rising population, made contributions to economic growth and helped improve population quality. One Chinese official said the one-child policy has prevented 300millions births, the equivalent of the population of Europe. The reduction of population has helped pull people out of poverty and been a factor in China’s phenomenal economic growth.
One child policy also contributes to individual savings, The Individual savings rate has increased since the one-child policy was introduced. This has been partially attributed to the policy in two respects. First, the average of Chinese household expands fewer resources, both in terms of time and money, on money they invest to children. Second, since young Chinese can no longer rely on children to care for them in their old age, there’s an impetus to save money for the future.
The main concern of One child policy is to make the economic grow, reduce the demand of natural resources, maintain steady labour rate, reducing unemployment caused from surplus labour, and reducing the rate of exploitation. 3. Criticism c. Other available non-coercive policy alternatives Some people argue that economic prosperity has done as much as the one-child policy to shrink population growth. As costs and expense of having children in urban areas rise, and the benefits of children as labor sources shrink many couples decide not to have so many children.
Susan Greenhalgh, China policy expert at the University of California in Irvine, told Reuters, “ Rapid socioeconomic development has largely taken care of the problem of rapid population. “ Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea, have lower birthrates without coercive measures, as people marry later and move into smaller homes. Even without state intervention, there were compelling reasons for urban couple to limit the family to a single child. Raising a child required a significant portion of family income, and in the cities child did not become an economic asset until he or she entered the work force at age sixteen.
Couples with only one child were given preferential treatment in housing allocation. In addition, people also don’t think to have extra children anymore, since city dwellers who were employed in state enterprise received pensions after retirements. d. Human rights violation and forced abortion The National and Family Planning Commission run the one-child policy and monitor the child bearing habits of the Chinese masses. It is comprised of 300,000 full-time paid family-planning workers and 80 million volunteers, who are notorious for being nosey, intrusive, and using social pressure to meet its goals and quotas.
Chinese woman have to obtain a permit to have a child. If a woman pregnant and she already have children she is often pressured into having an abortion. Special bonuses are given to men and women that have their tubes tied. Local officials are often evaluated in how well they meet their population quotas. Communist party cadres can be denied bonuses and blocked from promotions if there are excess births. In rural areas the day-to-day work of family planning is done by cadres at the team and brigade levels who are responsible for women’s affair and by health workers.
Every village has a family planning committee and in some, women of childbearing age are required to have pregnancy tests every three months. In the 1980’s the women team leader made regular household visits to keep track of the status of each family and collected information on which women were using contraceptives, the methods used, and which had become pregnant. She then reported to the leader, who documented the information and took it a monthly meeting of the commune birth-planning committee.
According to reports, ceilings or quotas had to be adhered to; to satisfy these cutoffs, unmarried young couples were persuaded to postpone marriage, and those who already have children were urged to use contraception to undergo sterilization. Couples with more than one child were exhorted to be sterilized. If neighborhood, street, or village committees are unsuccessful in dissuading a couple from having a child, community “units” at the husband’s and wife work place are called in to pressure the couple, sometimes by reducing wages, taking away bonuses or threatening unemployment. . The-four-two-one problems As an impact of the one child policy, the aging population, young Chinese couples have to shoulder the responsibility of supporting four seniors and raising one child, facing enormous pressure. The “4-2-1” family structure means that after a married couple who are both the only child of their respective family has a child, the family will consist of four seniors (each of their parents), one child and couple themselves. The couple is under heavy pressure of shouldering the responsibility of supporting four seniors and raising at least one child. . Unequal enforcement In 17 priorities, rural couples are allowed to have a second child if the first is a a girl. In the wealthy southern province of Guangdong and Hainan, rural couples are allowed two children regardless of the sex of the first. Minority groups such as Tibetans, Miao, and Mongols are generally permitted to have three children if their first two are girls. Urban couples, who are generally satisfied with small families, are generally restricted to one child.
Officials softened the one child policy in rural area where children are needed in the fields and infanticide appears widespread as a result of the preference for boys. In the Yunnan, where many minorities live, the birth rate was 17 per 1,000 residents, compared to four per 1,000 in shanghai and five Beijing, and 12 for the country as a whole. So many children are being born in Yunnan that the government is offering cash for school tuition and higher pensions to those who stick with the one child policy.
Parents of a child certified by a doctor as handicapped and couples with both members from single-child homes are also allowed to have and additional child. As children on single-child grow up they will be allowed to have more children. Urban parent are permitted to have two children if the husband and wife were only children. The number of marriages made up o only children is increasing but many are not taking up the option of having a second child. Parents who lost children in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake were allowed to have additional children.
In March 2011, a Chinese embassy official said New Zealand should consider compensating the families of students who died in an earthquake in Christchurch. The official said the victims were not only the family’s only children but also the future breadwinners, “You can expect how lonely, how desperate they are… not only losing loved ones, but losing almost entirely the major sources of economic assistance after retirement. ” Beside the sense of unfairness heightened by inconsistency in how the rules are applied.
Paperwork to obtain permission of having second child is also cumbersome. The rules are bewildering. The Beijing News carried a story about a young couple who had to collect 50 pages of documents and receive permission from 10 of their nearest neighbors before they could got approval to have second child. g. Heavy punishments for extra children Parents who have only one child get a “one-child glory certificate,” which entitles them to economic benefits such as extra month’s salary every year until the child is 14.
Among the other benefits for one child families are higher wages, interest free-loans, retirement funds, cheap fertilizer, better housing, better healthcare, and priority in school enrollment. Women who delay marriage until after they are 25 receive benefits such as an extended maternity leave when they finally get pregnant. These privileges are taken away if the couple decides to have an extra child. Promises for new housing often are not kept because of housing shortages. Besides of those benefits, heavy punishment also will be granted if couple disobey the policy.
The one-child policy theoretically is voluntary, but the government imposes punishments and heavy fines on people who don’t follow the rules. Parents with extra children can be fined, depending on the region from $370 near $12,800 (many times the average annual income for many ordinary Chinese). If the fine is not paid sometimes the couple land is taken away, their house is destroyed, they lose their jobs or the child is not allow to attend the school. Sometimes the punishments is more than a little over the top.
In the 1980s a woman from Shanghai named Mao Hangrfeng, who got pregnant with her second child, was fired from her job, forced to undergo an abortion and was sent to a psychiatric hospital and was still in a labor camp the early 2000s, There were reports that she had been tortured. Into the mid 2000s, authorities in Shandong raided the homes of families with extra children, demanding the parents with second children get sterilized and women pregnant with their third children get abortions. If family tried to hide their relatives were thrown to jail until the escapes surrendered.
One woman who said she had permission for a second child told the Washington Post she was hustled into a white van, taken to clinic, physically forced to sign a form and was given a sterilization operation that took only 10 minutes. Another woman told the Washington Post Several of her relatives were thrown in jail when she was seven months pregnant and were denied food and threatened with torture and told they wouldn’t be released until a woman had an abortion. After she turned herself in, a doctor inserted a needle into her uterus.
Twenty four hours later she delivered a dead fetus. Another woman was forced to undergo a botched sterilization that left her with difficulty walking. h. Circumvention through birth tourism Sometimes the fees for a second child are jacked up for couples with high incomes. One woman who earned $127,000 a year with her husband told she was told her fees for a second child would between $44,650 and $76,540. She ended up paying $5,000 to special agent to give birth in Hong Kong, where the one-child policy does not apply. . The Sex Ratio The effect of the policy on the sex ration has received much attention. The sex ratio at birth, defined as the proportion of male live births to female live births, range from 1. 03 to 1. 07 in industrialized countries. Since the onset of the one-child-policy, there has been a steady increase in the reported sec ratio from 1. 06 in 1979, to 1. 11 in 1988, to 1,17 in 2001. There are marked and well documented local differences, with ratio of up to 1. 3 in rural Anhui, Guangdong, and Qinghai provinces.
Data from the 2001 National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Survey, which was carried out among nationally representative sample of 39,600 women of reproductive age and is the most recent large-scale survey of reproductive health and fertility, show clearly that the increased sex ratio is not confined predominantly to rural china, as has been previously assumed. There is a marked gradient across birth order: in rural areas, the sex ratio for the first birth is 1. 05 (within normal limits), but it rises steeply with birth order. In urban areas, the sex ratio 1. 3 for the first births and peaks at 1. 30, for the second birth but decreases for the third and fourth births (which are rare in urban areas). The pictures that emerge is that some urban Chinese make the choice to perform sex selection with the first pregnancy, since they are allowed only one child. In rural areas, most couples are permitted to have a second child, especially if the first is female. So, if the second (or subsequent) child is female, the pregnancy often “disappears,” allowing the couple to have another child in attempt to have a son.
What happens to all the missing girls is a matter of speculation. Sex selective abortion after ultrasonography undoubtedly accounts for a large proportion of the decline in female births. Actual figures are impossible to obtain, because sex-selective abortion is illegal but known to be widely carried out, helped by a burgeoning private sector. No registration of female births also contributes to the sex-ratio gap. A 1995 household survey carried out in tree provinces found a normal sex ratio in the under 14 age group with the actual number of girls exceeding the number by 22 percent.
Although infanticide of girls is probably very rare now, less aggressive treatment of sick female infants is known to occur. The Chinese government has acknowledged the potentially disastrous social consequences of this sex imbalance. The shortage of women may have increased mental health problem and socially disruptive behavior among men and has left some men unable to marry and have family. The scarcity of females has resulted in kidnapping and trafficking of women for marriage and increased numbers of commercial sex workers, with a potential resultant rise in human immunodeficiency virus infection and other sexually transmitted disease.
There are fears that these consequences could be a real threat to China stability in the future. Although the one-child policy has been blamed for high sex ratio, it is probably just of the contributory factor. There was a high sex ratio in China in 1930 and 1940s, mostly resulting from infanticide of girls, and then the ratio declined in the years after Communist Revolution of 1949. Many other Asian countries with declining fertility rates and a traditional preference for males are also seeing sex ratio imbalances –Taiwan, 1. 19. Singapore 1. 18, South Korea 1. 12, and parts of orthern India, 1. 20—largely because of sex-selective abortion. In china, the marked increase in the sex ratio between 1980-1990s coincide with much easier access to cheap ultrasonography and not with any substantial change in enforcement of the one-child policy. It is likely, therefore, that even in the absence of the policy, sex-selective abortion would continue, although it would probably be less common. The solution will come only with a change in attitudes toward female offspring. Publicity campaigns promoting girls are now widespread and acknowledge the importance of such change.
But there are some indications that the traditional for boys may be shifting. In the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Survey, 37 percent of women (predominantly young, urban women) claimed to have no preference for sex over the other. Whereas 45 percent said the ideal family consisted of one boy and one girl. In fact, slightly more women expressed a preference for one girl (5. 9 percent) than for one boy (5. 6 percent). Although these expressed preferences have not yet been translated into a normalization of the sex ratio, this may happen in the near future. . Low and Ageing Population also the impact to economy The China Development Research Foundation (CDRF) said in report that problems in population structure, quality and distribution have become increasingly visible and will have a profound impact on china’s future social and economic development. The report said the population heading for negative growth and ultra-low fertility rate, as well as faces issues related to aging, gender imbalances, urbanization, an expanding shortage of migrant workers and only child generation.
According to The Economist, The policy has almost certainly reduced fertility below the level to which it would have fallen anyway. As a result, China has one of the world’s lowest “dependency ratios”, with roughly three economically active adults for each dependent child or old person. It has therefore enjoyed a lager “demographic dividend” (extra growth as a result of the high ratio of workers to dependents) than its neighbors. But the dividend is near to being cashed out. Between 2000 and 2010, the share of the population under 14 –future providers for their parents- slumped from 23 percent to 17 percent.
China now has too few young people, not too many. It has around eight people working age for every person over 65. By 2050 it will have only 2. 2. Japan, the oldest country in the world now, has 2. 6. China is getting old before it has got rich (Source: The Economist July 21, 2011) In the Times of London, Leo Lewis wrote “China may be forced to reconsider its one-child policy after census data revealed that rural-to-urban migration and rising life expectancies have led to a rapidly ageing population. Even though China’s population grew by 73. 9 million people to 1. 4 billion between 2000 and 2010 the number of young as a proportion of the population aged fewer than 14 contracted by 6. 3 percent, while the over-65s grew by 1. 91 per cent. (Source: Leo Lewis, Times of London, April 29, 2011) Analysts believe that the effects on the economy have already begun to be felt and will become more pronounced as the labour force shrinks and the burden of elderly care grows heavier. Wang Feng, a demographics expert at the Brookings-Tsinghua Centre for Public Policy in Beijing, said that the fertility rate of 1. 5 children per couple was “alarmingly low”.
He said that the 40 million people added to the ranks of the over-60s were “only the beginning of an accelerating process” and that the ageing of the population would become more serious. Analysts say that a sharp fall in the number of young will damage the economy. A shrinking young population and workforce are possible sources of inflation and the social destabilization that the Government dreads. Factory owners in the workshop cities of coastal China describe a shortage of workers and the accompanying cycle of wage hikes necessary to retain staff.
The size and youth of the Chinese labour fource have been decisive factors in the Country’s breakneck economic expansion. 6. Conclusion The future of the policy The Chinese government is facing an important challenge. The need to balance the basic human right of reproduction with population growth, which, despite the policy’s success, is still increasing at a rate of 8 per 1000, or 10 million people, per year. In making decision about the future, several factors must be taken into consideration. First, relaxation of the policy can be considered only if fertility aspiration are such that a baby boom will not result. There is now good evidence that China is becoming a small family culture. Data from the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Survey show that 35 percent of the women questioned preferred having only one child and 57 percent preferred having two children, but very few women wanted more than two. Young, urban, educated women wanted fewer children than did their counterparts in rural areas.
In other studies, 75 percent of respondents in wealthy Jiangsu province were satisfied with their one child regardless of sex, whereas in poorer Yunnan province, 55 percent were satisfied with an only boy, but only 30 percent were satisfied with only girl. In Tibet, where most couples are permitted to have three children, 65 percent of the women wanted only one or two children. However, the survey also showed that in urban areas of China, where (with very few exceptions) only one child is allowed. 43 percent of women still preferred having two, so the one-child restriction remains unacceptable for nearly half of urban Chinese women.
Second, what was appropriate in 1979 may not be so now. China has undergone massive socioeconomic change during the past 25 years. With the freedoms that have resulted from wealth and globalization, the one-child policy seems increasingly anachronistic. Increased wealth and freedom also make it harder for government to enforce the policy. Economic disincentives are not a deterrent to many wealthy people, and increased freedom of movement has made it difficult for family-planning authorities to track down people if they choose to flout the regulations.
Finally, the evidence of slowing population growth, the high sex ratio, the increasing number of elderly people, and the risks associated with avoidance of medical care by women with unapproved pregnancies suggest that a relaxation of the one-child policy would be desirable. Several options for the future have been suggested. One possibility is that everyone could be allowed to have up to two children, with a space of at least five years between them. It has been predicted that this option would ield a total fertility rate of 1. 7 during the next two decades, which help to normalize the sex ratio, reduce the 4:2:1 phenomenon, and be acceptable to majority people. The government should gradually loosen the one-child policy. By 2020, there will be no need to continue birth planning, as people will make more rational decisions on birth issues. The CDRF said China will have an ultra-low fertility rate after 2026 and that the government should start encouraging families to have more children.
The implementation of the policy has reduced the pressure created by a rapidly rising population, made contributions to economic growth and helped improve population quality. However, China has paid a huge political and social cost for policy, as it has resulted in social conflict, high administrative cost and led indirectly to a long term gender imbalance at birth. The aging population has led to the China’s demographic dividend ended and will pose severe challenge for the county future development. China cannot rely on an unlimited labor supply for its future economic development.
But China must instead boot its total factor productivity (TFP). The government should increase investment in health care and education to establish a national innovation system that could improve China’s Total factor productivity and create a new demographic dividend. Last but not least the government should pay more attention to development of rural children, reducing gender discrimination, and balancing regional development. 7. References A brief history of China’s one child policy (Accessed January 13 2013 at http://www. time. com/time/world/article/0,8599,1912861,00. html)
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