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One Child Policy in China

January 18th, 2009

(Written by Elaine in December of 2008)

As we all know, China is a big country with the biggest population in the world. It is very crowded in big cities like Shanghai. If you have ever taken subway in the centre of this city, you would know  how difficult it could be getting on the subway in the rush hours.

In the 1950s, the policy of giving birth was “the more children you have, the prouder you are” because we were in the belief “labour is the first power of production”. After two decades, because of this policy and Chinese huge population denominator, we couldn’t afford the consequence – Chinese government reversed its policy.

One-child policy began to apply in mainland China in the end of 1970s. If any family gave birth to more than one child except twins (triplets etc), they would be punished economically (they would have to pay a fine). And if they gave birth to only one child, the child would get a certificate of “one child policy”. And with this certificate, the child could receive more food and milk than usual. Because at that time, China was in Plan Economic, we couldn’t buy things just by money. We had limitation on buying some stuff every month.

One child policy is very well obeyed in cities. “One child policy” children in Chinese families are lonely children, they don’t have brothers and sisters to play with. Instead, they got more toys, and they got all the attention of their parents and their grandparents. Because no brother or sister will share the love of their parents, so they are more spoilt and they have more pressure of parents’ expectation because they are the only children. “望子成龙,望女成凤” to expect the son to be the dragon, and the daughter to be the phoenix” is the portrait of parents’ expectation. They sacrificed their own personal life to give all the love to take care of the only one child. “Only one child” children are more selfish because they have never chance to take care of their brothers/sisters and they are more spoilt.

Now that three decades have passed, the “one child policy” children all became adults and they are going to establish their families and have their own babies. Some problems are exposed as “who will do the housework” because of their lack of experience of doing housework and they are more self-centered. But they will be okay because people learn and change during their whole life.

Personally, I think one child policy is not very good for the growth of the children because they don’t have the most intimate playmates around their own age, they don’t have a good example to compete with, they don’t know how to take care of others, they lost some very important relationship in their life and they will never know the feeling of it. They can only look forward to their cousins (their most intimate relatives around the same age) to play with maybe once a month, but the time to spend with them always seems short.

However, one child policy is only choice for Chinese society because of the huge population. And to have several children,it will be more difficult for some families economically. It is said soon there will be a new policy—if  “only one child”  boy marry a “only one child”  girl, then they can have two children. So it is a very good news for them!

Thinking about China

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