China One-Child Policy Altered

For decades, when it comes to family planning, China has been notorious for its’ “one-child” policy, with its slight exceptions.  For Americans, this policy has been hard to comprehend, being that America does the opposite in that it encourages large and communal families.  It has always been something that seemed very foreign to me, but I assumed that China has gotten used to or accepted it as the norm.  However, China has recently made its first change to the “one-child” policy in almost 30 years.  The reason is because for the roughly 30 years the policy has been in place, the disparity in population towards the elderly has seen massive shifts.  The elderly need young people to support them, hence the change.  The change will not be a drastic one.  China’s current policy limits urban families to one-child, and allows rural families to have a second child if their first one is a girl.  Additionally, the policy allows two children to parents who are both only-children.  What the new policy does is allow two children to parents where only one of them was an only-child.

While it seems slight, this change should dramatically change the numbers.  The original “one-child” policy was put in place to battle poverty and make it easier on parents, but they didn’t consider seriously enough how that would affect the foundation of support for the elderly.  While the change will certainly have an immediate effect, some families still feel that it is too much money to have more than one child.  It is probably something that parents just stopped budgeting for, and will need to be rolled out slowly for the public to gain comfort with.  Are there any drawbacks to this tweaking of the policy?  How much further should it go?  To the point where we are in America with complete freedom to have as many children as we please?

USA Today

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3 comments

  1. The One Child policy that China has implemented has always baffled me. Perhaps because I am not from China so I do not know the extent of the effects this law has. However, there are several repercussions that occur as a result of this law. The elderly needing help from the younger generation and not being able to find adequate support is one of these problems. A problem that the younger generation faces is that they cannot find Chinese girls to marry because if parents are only allowed one child, they would prefer the child to be male. Although this policy might have helped to reduce poverty, it still comes with many flaws. I personally believe that each family should have the right to decide how many children they wish to have. However, I do understand to some degree the reasoning behind China’s decision to adhere by this law. Some parents who cannot afford to have children continue to reproduce and they have large families who need to go on welfare and this increases the poverty rate.

  2. I think that the biggest drawback to the tweaking of this policy is the fact that it is going to take 20 years before it really has any impact, and even then the impact will be minimal. Part of their motivation for changing the policy is to combat the plethora of problems China is facing as a result of having an aging population. Among these problems are significant revenue shortages, because there are not enough young workers to pay for the retirees. But a policy change now won’t increase the taxpaying population nearly two decades. It also seems that another significant motivation to make this shift in China’s one-child policy was to strengthen its policy ties with the United States. The “one child” policy changes came alongside promises by China to improve the legal system, reduce the use of the death sentence, and “work to ban” using torture to obtain criminal confessions. It seems that China is realizing that in order to be fully accepted by the United States and the other “civilized” developed economies, “business as usual” simply won’t suffice.

  3. Finally, China decided to tweak this ridiculous policy! More babies equal more money for the economy. Now, China needs to hope these families with at least one parent as an only child will actually agree to have another child. Even though having another child will cost those families more money, I think the families who really want another child will do what ever it takes to make it happen. With those families that are willing to have another child, the economy will slowly start to improve due to the additional spending on that one child. Before you know it, more job opportunities will begin to open up. Those families that could not initially have another child due to financial reasons will now feel financially stable to support another child. Therefore, the cycle will hopefully continue to incorporate more families.

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