China’s Invisible Children ; the One Child Law

“In order to stabilize the world’s population,” wrote Jacques Yves Cousteau “350,000 must be eliminated per day. ” This powerfully haunting statement has been regulated and reinforced in China, by their government, since 1979. Although Chinese officials don’t eradicate nearly even a quarter as many lives daily, their One Child Law does put a reasonable dent into the lives that are brought into the world we live in.China’s law, as cold and cruel as it may seem to some, does serve a definitive purpose; to control their population. How exactly does this “One Child Law” control the Chinese population? Forced abortions, yep it’s real a families very own worst nightmare, and it’s only one of the few ways China enforces control on their people. Wait, wait, wait, isn’t abortion illegal? No, it is very legal to get an abortion up to the third trimester in China, since 1953 in fact. One such instance of China’s government officials forcing abortions upon families is the story of Pan Chunyan.In Beijing while grocery shopping, she was grabbed, still eight months pregnant with her third child, by two men who were working for a local official, and locked her up with two other women. Four days later they forced her to put her thumbprint on a document stating that she had agreed to an abortion, a nurse then came in and injected a drug into her. “After I got the shot, all the thugs disappeared. My family was with me again. I cried and hoped that my baby would survive. ” Ms. Pan, 31, told a reporter over a telephone interview, from her home in Fujian.However hours after her labor, the baby was born dead on April, 8, “black and blue all over,” Ms. Pan said. Another way to ensure that this law was held to its fullest, were the incentives the Chinese government bestowed upon the couples and families who complied with the law. The incentives varied from higher wages, better schooling, employment, to preferential treatment for receiving government aid and loans. Many families were even granted permission to have more than one child, and were given permits.Those who didn’t hold a permit would suffer grave repercussions. Sanctions, fines, employment termination, and immense difficulty in receiving government aid were just some of the lighter consequences that those who were non-compliant with the law would receive. Well what is the One Child Policy anyways? In 1949 Chairman Mao Zedong was quoted to have said, “Even if China’s population multiplies many times, she is fully capable of finding a solution; the solution is production. Of all the things in the world, people are the most precious. The communist country’s government banned all forms of birth control and even banned imports of contraceptives. This action was thought to have been a good thing, until it started taking a toll on the food supply in China. In 1995 government officials began to launch a campaign to promote birth control, only to have their efforts disregarded by “The Great Leap Forward. ” – Mao’s disastrous attempt to industrialize China. – Hu Yaobang, the secretary of the Communist Youth League was quoted saying that, “A large population means greater manpower.The workforce of 600 million liberated people is tens of thousands stronger than a nuclear explosion. ” However a workforce of that many, was proven to be just as destructive. By 1964 a massive famine caused some 30 million deaths. Shortly after, officials promptly resumed their campaign to limit their population growth. It wasn’t until 1979 that government officials finally introduced a policy that would stick. This law required couples from China’s ethnic Han majority to have only one child; the law largely exempted ethnic minorities.The One Child Policy is definitely a huge mix of carrots and sticks. Depending on where they live couples can be fined thousands of dollars, longer maternity leave is offered to couples who prolong childbearing, and those who chose to comply and have one child would receive a “Certificate of Honor for Single-Child Parents. ” Since 1979 the One Child Law has prevented some 250 million children being born. Critics of the Policy have even noted its negative social consequences, particularly sex discrimination.The occurrence of sex discriminating abortions – the practice of female infanticide, with boys being regarded as more culturally preferred. – resurfaced shortly after the One Child Law was set into effect. It had been widely common in China prior to 1949, but then was eradicated in the early 1950’s. A study published in the British Medical Journal found that there are still 32 million more boys than there are girls, under the age of 20. Another study found that the sex ratio for boys to girls compared to the global average is much higher. Global average being 107 boys per 100 girls; and China’s average being 113 boys per 100 girls). It is blatantly obvious that, in China, males are valued about females, but why? The Chinese culture places value on males because of the stability they offer vs the females, and the notion that when a boy grows into a man he can take in a bride and support his family including his elders. (A very old Chinese tradition). Whereas when girls become women, they are expected to marry and live with the man.Population control, China’s on the right track. By 2025 China is expected to have zero population growth, and by 2050 its growth is projected to be at -0. 5%. Although Jacques Yves Cousteau’s statement about eliminating some 350,000 people per day to stabilize the world’s population doesn’t directly deal with the One Child Law and China’s population, it’s still just as powerful and true; to control the masses in China, many must be eradicated, and many more must suffer the consequences of their government’s foolish decisions.It is no doubt that the One Child Law has stirred up a lot of controversy within other countries, and within China’s own citizens. What would you do if your country decided to adopt China’s One Child Law? Do you think the policy would be good for your country? Or would you feel like the lesser human? WORKS CITED Fitzpatrick, Laura. “China’s One Child Policy. ” Time Magazine. Time Magazine, 27 July 2009. Web. 26 Feb. 2013. www. time. com/time. Wong, Edward. “Reports of Forced Abortions Fuel to End Chinese Law. ” The New York Times. The New York Times, 22 July 2012. Web. 26 Feb. 2013. www. nytimes. com.

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