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Flashcards in Sustainable Population Maintenance (China) Deck (12):

What was the proposal

One child policy



Began 1979


Where was country heading

Toward famine


Industry changes

Industrial economy changes made and the expense of farming which causes catastrophic famine from 1959 to 1962 with 35 million deaths


Rules of the one child policy

1. Couples must not marry until their late 20s
2. Couples must only have one successful pregnancy
3. Couples must be sterilised after their first successful pregnancy or abort any future pregnancies
4. 5-10% pay rise for only having one child
5. Single child families had free education and priority to housing, pensions and family benefits


Punishments for disobeying the rules

1. 10% salary cut
2. Fine imposed which would bankrupt households
3. Family must pay for education and health care
4. Second children born abroad weren't penalised but they couldn't become Chinese citizens


Who enforced the rules

The 'Granny Police' who would check couples of a child bearing age and accompany woman to contraception meetings to ensure attendance


Controversial elements to the policy

1. Women were forced to have abortions as late as the 9th month of pregnancy
2. Women placed under tremendous pressure
3. Local officials and central government had power over people's private lives
4. Girls placed in orphanages and allowed to die so parents could try and conceive a male child
5. SIngle children known as 'little emperors' and were often indulged



1. Famine didn't happen
2. Population growth slowed down sufficiently to allow people food and jobs
3. 400 million less people were born
4. Increased technology and and exploitation of resources increased standard of living


Changes from 1990s to 2000s

1. Young couples who are only children can have two children as shares the burden of caring for their 4 elderly parents
2. Less time needed for childcare opened up employment for women so attitude to daughters improved
3. Increased wealth so policy wasn't as life crippling


Current statistics

In 2008 China had 1 million more births than deaths every 5 weeks
600 million people live on under $2 a day


Consequence of policy

Massive gender imbalance- 60 million more young men than women so not all young men can marry which would create difficulties for Chinese societies

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