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Chinas One Child Policy - Essay Example

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Population policies and campaigns are common to China. In fact, the emergence of these tight population control schemes dates back to 1950's. In the 1970s, the country launched the "One is good, two is ok and three is too many" campaign.
One Child Policy is undoubtedly one of the most extreme measures taken by the People's Republic of China to curb overpopulation…
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China's One Child Policy Population policies and campaigns are common to China. In fact, the emergence of these tight population control schemes s back to 1950's. In the 1970s, the country launched the "One is good, two is ok and three is too many" campaign.
One Child Policy is undoubtedly one of the most extreme measures taken by the People's Republic of China to curb overpopulation. This policy takes effect during 1979 and requires all couples in mainland China to have no more than one child. However, this policy is somehow misconceived. Contrary to the common knowledge that One Child Policy is implemented in the entire China, the Economic and Social Commissions for Asia and the Pacific states that "the actual location varies from location to location." Accordingly, in most rural areas, families are allowed to have two children if the first child is female. In addition, second children are subject to birth spacing of three or four years. If more children are born in the family, this will result in fines. It is reported that most families are required to "pay economic penalties and cannot receive bonuses from the birth control program (One Child Policy 2)." Privileges are given to children in one child families one of which is lower payment.
China's One Child Policy is in response to the high population growth during the 1970s when an average woman gave birth to six children. The large number of children becomes acceptable as "parents traditionally relied on a large number of offspring to provide an economic security blanket (Fong 1)." Another purpose of the initiative is to help the country "leapfrog from a Third-World economy to a First-World economy by mimicking the First World fertility and educational patterns."
The One Child Policy has a great impact in China. The Taipei Times report that it leaves the country with a huge shortage of women. During 1982, China's gender ratio had stayed relatively normal with 100 girls for every 108 boys. In 2002, however, there has been an imbalance brought about the One Child Policy driving down the number of girls relative to boys to 117 to 100. It is observed that an even larger disparity is present in rural areas to as high as 130 to 100. The shortage of women is expected to be a cause of widespread women prostitution and women trafficking (McCurry and Allison 9).
The Ed magazine reports that the initial goal of China of gaining an economy which can be comparable to First World failed. Though the expected slow growth in the population was achieved, the country's economy was not able to kept pace and provide opportunities for the relatively smaller population. It is observed that a high value is placed on the education of the singletons where families choose to invest on the high cost of education in order to have a good future. The result is that the families' most talented son-or in rare cases daughter-were sent to high school and college leading to what Fong calls "diploma inflation." This diploma inflation makes prospective employees to secure a job because the positions which previously required a vocational degree now require a higher educational attainment. In most cases, a four-year course is needed to become a bank teller.
Another huge implication of the One Child Policy is the country's aging population. The old population is left in the economy who are currently dependent on retirement fund, state, and charity for support.
Works Cited
McCurry Justin and Rebecca Allison. "One Child policy leaves china with a huge shortage of women." The Guardian London. 23 March 2004: 9
"One Child Policy." Wikipedia-The Free Encyclopedia. 8 May 2006. Mediawiki. May 8 2006 < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-child_policy#_note-0> Vanessa Fong. "China's One Child Policy Comes of Age." Ed Magazine. 01 September 2004 Read More
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