Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Should China Allow Her People to Have a Second Child?

Recently, a new regulation was added to China's famous One-Child Policy. If the husband is an only child but the wife is not, that couple will be allowed to have two children; or visa versa.  Previously, the new policy was that both husband and wife had to be only children to be allowed to give birth to a second child in China.  

One of my students gave an insightful presentation on this topic under the above title. Here is what she said:

       In the early 1970s, China started to carry out the one-child policy. At that time, the population in China was so large that it brought many problems to our society. We could not provide enough food and education for all the people, so the government needed to control its population. Everyone had to accept that we don't allow one couple to have a second child. The policy on family planning is reasonable and necessary. Though it is a big challenge for the traditional opinion of "More children, more happiness."

       In most of cities, a couple only can have one child, and in most of villages, only two children. You will be punished seriously if you have one more illegal children, like having to pay large amount of money maybe 20,000 or 30,000 yuan. I know that because one of my neighbor paid 30,000 yuan to get a boy as the second child. Or, most cruelly, maybe you are forced to have an abortion. There are many bloody example that I cannot list because saying that is illegal.

       In this way, the growth rate of population declined sharply, from 5.8 percent growth in 1970 to 2.24 percent in 1980, reducing the great stress on economic development. However, some people still fight against this policy, which are from both personal and public point of view.  

       One-child policy is harmful to the development of the kid's character and personality. The first generation won't have siblings, and the send generation won't have siblings or first cousins. Many children will be spoiled, resulting in the "little emperors."  Many parents spoil their children because they give them everything they want, and almost never ask them to do anything at home. All these make them show of basic skills in life and unpopular with the society in the future.

       Furthermore, the lack of brothers or sisters in the family does great harm to their psychological development as they may feel lonely all the time.  "I do not want to be the only child of my family," one of my best friends had told me. "I always feel lonely and helpless." I have discussed it with my classmates who are the only child and they have got the same feeling. When school is over, we go back home and have no one to talk with, for parents are busy with their jobs or house chores. Even when they have leisure time, due to the generation gap, we have nothing in common. On our way to adulthood, we have met a lot of trouble on which they linger and ponder.

       The effect of the policy on the sex rate has received much attention. Women have always been considered the lower sex in China, despite the Chinese Government trying to change it. Because we are deeply influenced by conservative, traditional Chinese thinking pattern, the couples who have a baby girl sometimes they will kill or abandon their child, so they can try again for a boy. Because of the large number of infanticide and abandoned girls, China now has an unbalanced population; with a lot more boys than girls. This results in a high umber of girls going into prostitution.

       When the first generation of law-enforced only children become parents themselves, one adult child was left with having to provide support for his or her two parents and four grandparents. In China, this problem has been named the 
"4:2:1: phenomenon, meaning that increasing numbers of couples will be solely responsible for the care of one and four parents. If the old people are in different places, how can the couple take care well of all these old people?

To conclude, the policy was reasonable in the late 70s. But the time has changed, I think, and the one-child policy should change very soon. Only in this way can we solve these problems and make China become a real harmonious country.

The operative word is IN China regarding one child. Many educated couples leave China to work abroad and have one or two children which they can legally bring back to China. Then they can have their 1 child in China and all is well; so long as they can afford them. And that is the biggest factor today. Regardless of policy easing, it is just too expensive to have more than one child anymore; and in some cases not worth the trouble to have any children.

A popular actor ran afoul of the law when it was discovered that he had a lot a children who are now adults. Outing celebs and officials in China is the latest game in social media….like anywhere else in the world.


  1. So glad that you didn't live in China when your children were coming into being. Imagine Tarzan as an only child...

  2. I have been reading your blog with great EXCITEMENT!!! I will be teaching for the BYU Teachers program in Qingdao next Fall. my e mail is Please help me with some ideas for teaching writing and oral English (I've written down some ideas from your blog!) I live in Southern Oregon and will be there as a single. Thank you!