Over population is one of the serious issue that today’s world is facing. China is known as the country with the highest population (CIA). In order to prevent their massive population growth, China introduced the “One-Child Policy”. It is a policy implemented by the Chinese government with the purpose of controlling the enormous population in People’s Republic Of China. With the establishment of One-Child Policy, there are a lot of benefits and impacts to Chinese society and family. Regarding this topic, this essay will illustrate the positive and negative effects of this policy.
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After the death of Mao Zedong in 1976, China’s population was approaching one billion-mark, which concerned the new Chinese government. Because of the overwhelmed population growth, Chinese citizens were encouraged to have only two children per family in late 1978. The policy helped to decline almost half of population growth in China during that time but it did not reach their expectation. Later in 1979, China’s leader Deng Xiaoping introduced the One-Child Policy, requiring a family to have only one child. The Central Committee of Chinese Communist Party formally instituted One-Child Policy on September 25th, 1980 (Pletcher, 2014). Along with this burdensome policy, it comes with two main positive effects, social and family. As for the boon social effect, the most obvious effect is that it limits the population growth efficiently. It is seen that the population was decreased by over a half. Since 1979, experts at the national Population and Family Planning Commission of China said, the policy has prevented more than four hundred million births in the country (Jaime FlorCruz, 2011). After the introduction of the One-Child Policy, the fertility rate in China fell down from over three births per woman in 1980 to approximately 1.54 in 2011 (Data from World Bank, 2014). Moreover, the reduction in the rapid growth has reduced some serious issues that cause by overpopulation like health, education, law enforcement, and other destructions. Another social consequence is the economic growth. When there is higher in the birth rate, the slower of the economic growth occurs, thus One-Child Policy could have contributed to the increase of economic growth. With the lower population, the bureau could provide their people with a high living standard. They might get a high level of schooling, perfect healthcare as well as other accessibility. Then people will lead to be the high quality, which are very crucial for innovations and creations, to develop their country for sustained economic growth. Obviously, China is one of the World’s largest economic in term of the population, but in fact, the GDP per capital still low in some area. According to Prof. Zhang’s research during 1978-1998, 28 Chinese provinces, found that the lower the birth rate, the faster the economic growth. The annual growth rate of the real per capital income in that period was as high as 8.1 percent. At the same time, the birth rate was very low—at only 2 percent (Louisa Wah Hansen, 2013). Simultaneously, the policy has positively effect the family as well. The first thing is the high responsibility in the family. This mean that the parents are able to focus on their only one child and allow them to live in a more safety and wealthy environment under their heedfulness, thus the child would receive much love and warmth from them. To add on, this policy leads to less expense in the family budget. With fewer members, family could settle better in the prosperous life, and won’t get into hardship because of carrying so many children.
Along with those benefits the essay has mentioned, One-Child policy also scatters a lot of negative effects to the Chinese society and family. Since One-child policy has been established, the population growth rate in China has been declined from 0.9 percent in 2000 to 0.48 percent in 2012, which is leaded to the lack of human resources (World Bank). Recently, the government is very concern about the lack of human resources, that’s why they ease one-child policy and allows couples to have two children if they were both born without siblings (BBC, 2013). Moreover China is the country, which has a high preference for son, rather than daughter that is the cause of sex imbalances. One-Child policy has made China become the country, which has male population, more than female. According to Business Insider, there were 51 million men more than women in China 2010. In every 100 newborns girls, there are 120 boys, which is the highest sex ratio in the world (Sam, 2013). In addition because of the One-Child policy, the birth population is decreasing while the aging is continuing on increasing from day to day that lead to age dependency. The age of group of people from 0-14 decreased 6.29 percent, from 15-59 increased 3.36 percent, group of 60 and over increased 2.93 percent and group of 65 and over increased to 1.91 percent (National Bureau of Statistics of China, 2011). Age dependency will put more pressure to the son of the family to earn more money to support the family and also make the economics of country goes down since the decreasing of the workers. Moreover, female infanticide has happened in China for a long time; Chinese girls are twice as likely to die in their first year of life as boys (“Infanticide in china,”). Despite the democratic nature of Chinese community, many parents consider that having a son is a crucial element of providing for their old age. Therefore in severe cases, a baby is killed if it is not of the preferred sex, because of the pressure not to have more than one child (BBC). In addition, the absence of a sibling does not define the outcome of a child’s social growth. For the single-child, the nature and structure of his or her family organization can be the adaptation factor for his or her lack of sibling contact. Children with siblings often exchange amongst each other their respective academic and social backgrounds – an advantage that single-children don’t have. Single-children tend to be influenced more by self-absorbed instincts, commanding more attention in their personal homes. Because parents tend to treat their single-child the way standard parents treat their first-born (with more attention and care due to lack of experience), single-children will generally be more relying on their parents and less independent (Xuefeng). As a result of the one-child policy, a single person can be supporting both their parents and their four grandparents. This forces the parents and grandparents to depend more on retirement savings or pensions, which many people don’t have. If those fail, everything depends on the one child. If that child can’t support their family, or if the only one child dies, the parents and grandparents will have no one to help them, and no money to support them. So when they lose their only hope, they will full of depression and no one will be look after them when they get older (rhee71, 2009).
As the essay has analyzed, we can see that this policy had contributed a lot of benefits to the society as well as the family in this past few decades. From my perspective, I think China should maintains this One-Child policy because it will helps China to become more advanced, not only in the economic nor social field, but also to promote the human rights. At the same time, there need to have some changes to this policy such as reformation or ease this policy and allow some family to have their second child regarding their family condition like what Two-Child Policy has adopted in late 2013, by letting the family having their second child if one of their parents is an only child.
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