TheCommunist Party’s anti-birth control campaign in China at thebeginning of 1949 caused ripple effects which extended to the 20thCentury. An approach that began as a measure to increase thecountry’s population led to cultural, social, economic, andpolitical consequences in the country. It is even more surprisingthat Mao Zedong, the leader of the ruling party at the time, assertedthat a large population was essential for the replacement of thelives which would be lost in a nuclear war. Towards the end of hisreign, the nation`s population was already approaching a billionbecause people were rapidly giving birth to too many children. Afterthe death of Zedong, a new and pragmatic leader Deng Xiaoping tookover the management of the country. One of the pressing issues inhis agenda was curbing the alarmingly rising population. As a result,the state adopted a one child one couple policy in 1980, thus puttingan end to an unrealistic population growth. However, this systemfacilitated the occurrence of other challenges. This topic isessential because it highlights the fact that different policies havevarious implications in the lives of people. Therefore, this paperseeks to discuss the current issues facing China.
The adoption of the one-child policy focused on redressing theproblem of overpopulation in China (China Uncensored, 2015). Thecountry was experiencing an increased economic burden due to itsinability to deal with the steadily and rapidly rising population. Atfirst, the state wanted people to volunteer to give birth to only onechild. Seeing that the resistance was high, it became necessary forthe government to implement it as a mandatory rule to be followed byeveryone. However, it encouraged the occurrence of various problemsin the community. For instance, the economic impact of the policyhas been profound following the existence of the law. It is easy todiscern the country’s future under the present circumstancesbecause China is a centrally planned economy. A country`s economicprogress is facilitated by three growth factors, including labor,capital, and productivity. While China boasts of an immense amount ofcapital and high technology level production, it still lacks ageneration of young people to work in companies.
Infact, it is evident that China would lack a generation of young andenergetic workers to drive its growth and development agendas.Currently, the country`s workforce largely consists of an oldergeneration of employees who were accustomed to bureaucratic processes(China Uncensored, 2015). The only way they can compete effectivelywith workers from other countries is if they engage in varioustraining to boost their capacities to handle modern productionprocesses. Arguably, the progress in technology requires young peoplewho are equipped with modern information and experiences replace theolder generation of workers in various places of work. This way,organizations do not have to spend much money on training people whoshould be retiring. It also ensures that organizations remainrelevant in the highly competitive business environment.
Thefuture of the country’s labor sector is alarmingly in jeopardy.Apparently, the number of people who are expected to retire is morethan those seeking employment in the future. A greater percentage ofcurrent workers would be over 60 years, yet only a few young peoplewould be available to replace them. As it is now, there is anincreased demand for people who can take care of the old (ChinaUncensored, 2015). It implies that the population balance hasshifted, and the country is just starting to feel the burden ofhaving relatively more aged people compared to the younger workforce.Apart from the economic impacts of the issue, the social consequencesof the situation are also adverse and overwhelming. The currentyounger generation feels that they were unfairly sacrificed for amistake that was done in the past (China Uncensored, 2015). Most ofthem have become lonely, antisocial, and deprived of family love.Growing up as an only child can only be enjoyable when people arestill young because their parents give them all the attention.However, they become lonely as they grow up, especially when theirparents are always at work, and they do not have friends to keep themcompany. They also become self-centered and entitled to everythingbecause they are not used to sharing things with others.
Thegreatest impact of the policy is that it facilitated the occurrenceof discriminative tendencies in the country. For instance, the lawwas applied unevenly to rural and urban areas. People in ruralregions have somehow been allowed to give birth to two children,especially if the first one disabled or female (China Uncensored,2015). In other words, the male child has long been seen as thefavorite heir of the family. As a result, they are entitled toinherit all the family’s wealth and carry the family’s legacy atthe expense of female children. Therefore, the thirty years of theexistence of the policy revealed that the Chinese favored malechildren over female children. In urban centers where the law wasstrict, couples were forced to determine the sexes of their unbornchildren as early as possible. This way, they were able to abortfemale children because they only had one chance of having a child.Some of them would perform multiple abortions until they conceived amale child. This tendency facilitated the occurrence of a culture ofdiscrimination towards women in the society.
The extended effect of the trend is that men became relatively morecompared to women in the society. Specifically, China hasapproximately 30 million males more than females today (ChinaUncensored, 2015). As a result, a lot of Chinese men are singlebecause women are few. Within the few ladies, there are those who donot want to get married because they have been used to being aloneall their lives. The refusal to get married is also seen as arebellion against a regime and cultural system which for a very longtime has favored men over women. Therefore, the ability of thecountry to reproduce has been compromised by the inadequate supply ofwomen as well as their unwillingness to get married. With the reducedrate of marriage, it looks as if the country`s insufficient supply ofyoung workers would persist in the future.
Additionally, a significant number of people are undocumented inChina. Those who were unwilling to abort their second children endedup giving birth to them and hiding them from the authority. Theviolation of the one-child policy was met with severe punitivemeasures. For instance, those who were found guilty were finedheavily, forced to abort or sterilized by the government agencytasked with the implementation of the law. Therefore, couples whowere expecting second children either accidentally or knowingly wereforced to either abort them or hide them. The implication of hidingchildren was devastating because it implied that second childrenlacked citizen residency. They cannot get land, work, and healthcareservices among others. This system facilitated the unequaldistribution of resources among people. Consequently, there is a highgap between the wealthy and poor people China with a majority ofcitizens being those who are undocumented by the government.
Thehigh rate of abortion has also compromised the quality of women’shealth. Within the 30 years of the implementation of the policy,there has been over 300 abortions and 200 million sterilization casesin the country (China Uncensored, 2015). Abortion is an intricateprocess which requires highly trained professionals to perform. Anincrease in the practice is likely to affect the reproductive healthof women, especially if incompetent doctors conduct abortion. To theextreme, some women are unable to give birth again. It implies thatthey will remain childless should they lose their children toaccidents or sicknesses. People also have different moralorientations when it comes to practices such as abortion. Forinstance, a large group of people perceives abortion as committingmurder. They maintain that life begins at conception and that theymust be respected and preserved regardless of their stages ofdevelopment. Forcing people to have an abortion is likely to goagainst the religious principles of some people, thus compromisingtheir belief system. As a result, the violation of people’s moralprinciples has also been met with fierce criticism and resistancefrom the public.
Inthe past, the government politicized the policy and made it aplatform for collecting revenues from people. In fact, the collectionof fines is as profitable as leasing land in China (China Uncensored,2015). While bigger cities focus on land as their greatest source ofrevenue, smaller cities focus on fines collected from couples whohave violated the second child policy. It is estimated that thecountry has collected about 300 billion dollars from fines since thepolicy was officially enforced in 1980 (China Uncensored, 2015).Perhaps, the fact that the government can collect large amounts ofmoney prevented legislators from reviewing the policy despite thefact that it was causing harm to the country’s economic, social,and cultural stability. It was only until recently when the systemwas modified.
Thispaper has discussed the issues facing China today within the contextof the implications of the one-child policy. It has determined thatthe law has compromised the economic development of the country. Thenumber of people who will be exiting the labor pool is more thanthose who will be entering. It also determined the social implicationof the approach. For instance, the young people’s inability toassociate well with others was facilitated by the fact that they havebeen alone their entire life. Correspondingly, it promoted thedevelopment of a culture of discrimination towards women as peopleprioritize on giving birth to male children rather than females. Thereduced number of women in the society has adversely affected therate of marriage and reproduction significantly. Additionally, it hasled to an increasing number of undocumented children in the country,consequently widening the gap between the wealthy and poor in thecommunity. Lastly, high rate of abortion has also affected thereproductive health of women, especially those who lack resources toaccess high-quality healthcare.
ChinaUncensored. (2015). China Changes One-Child Policy to Two-ChildPolicy Retrieved July 18, 2016, fromhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0l0j5e6RGI