admin 8 November, 2018 0

Should China Move To A Two Child Policy Sociology Essay

In this report we will research, think creatively and critical about our topic: Should China move to a two-child policy. We will present an in-depth analysis on the consequences and benefits which could occur when china decides to move from their one-child policy and the negative consequences and losses which could occur when china moves to the suggested two child policy. Before we immediately start with our analysis, it is vital that we ask the following questions in order to fully understand the reasons why china decided to implement such a policy:

Who implemented the one child policy in China?
Why did China decide to implement the one child policy?
What where the consequences of this decision?

To answer these questions we are going to have a brief look on the history of China. After this we will look at the present situation of china and as closure the analysis.


In the beginning

In 1949 after the Japanese occupation of china was finally over, Mao Zedong the son of a wealthy farmer established the People’s Republic of China [1] . Also known as the communist party. Back in the 1930ties China was divided and did not have a ruler for the whole of china. Instead it had clans and war lords, each fighting for power and more land. Peasants and farmers were treated very cruel and left almost nothing to eat in a time of food scarcity because generals and other high warlords owned all the land and the Japanese occupation which dealt a severe strike on the people of China [2] . Mao Zedong was your typical robin hood and stole mostly land from the rich to give to the poor. This gave him the support of an almost overwhelming percentage of people within china, Thus began his move to unite all of china under one banner, the communist party’s one. Mao’s biggest competitor for rule over china was Chiang Kai Shek whom supported most of the wealthy land owners. This civil war left much destruction and made china weak to prevent for instance the occupation of the Japanese troops.

After the war

After 1949 Mao won the civil war and started unifying the whole of china. An accomplishment never seen before in the history of china. His party the People’s Republic of China became the government of China which we all know nowadays.

The devastation of the war and the occupation had caused birth rates to decline and death rates to increase [3] . Mao feared for what would happen if another country such as the United States and or the Soviet Union saw how weak China was and decided to invade just like the Japanese did. He devised a plan in the 1950ties [4] to encourage Chinese woman to reproduce and make as much children as possible. The propaganda he fed to the people of china was that it would encourage more labor power whilst his main reason was fear. Not knowing that this propaganda later on became a very important opportunity for foreign investors in china. Mao Zedong almost Doubled China’s population from an estimated 550 million to 900 million people [5] . As China grew larger more problems arose within the country. There was once again food scarcity. This time not caused by a war or an invasion but by the overwhelming and still growing population of china. In 1970 The People’s Republic of China came up with a propaganda family plan to battle the overpopulation and started encouraging the people to marry at a later age and only have two children, indicating the birth of the two-child policy. This however did not stop the growth and the people’s republic of china was forced to come up with another solution and fast. The people were growing restless after a horrible event took place under Mao’s leadership [6] . Losing many trust from his people. The only way for the People’s Republic of china to further reduce this problem was to make the two-child policy even stricter and reduce the number of children permitted from two to one. Deng Xiaoping was the one who gave the final order to issue this policy. Though it was supposed to be a temporary measure, it is still very much alive in China these days.


The one child policy rule varies from rural and urban areas. In a substantial amount of rural areas, families are allowed to have a second child if there first born child is a girl or if there first born son has a disability, is mentally ill or is mentally retarded. The reason why families can have another child if their first one is a daughter is because of the birth ratio of 114 males to 100 females. This has become a clear problem for woman in the future. If there are more man than woman, then an increase in rape victims will be the result. In the other areas where the one-child policy is strictly enforced a huge disdain for female babies is present and this results in high abortion rates, children whom are being abandoned and even the murder of infants. It is said that since the implementation of the policy almost 400 million births from 1979 to 2011 were prevented [7] .

The rewards [8] which were given to parents consisted of a one-child glory certificate which gave them a little extra cash each month and increased your regular salary, improved health care, more priority during school enrollments and interest-free loans. Woman whom married after the age of 25 got an extended leave from work when pregnant.

Punishments varied per region. They mostly consisted of heavy fines for each extra child you produce, price depending on region. But in other regions people’s home were raided by the authorities, land was taken away, homes were destroyed, people get fired from their jobs for having too many children, mothers forced to sign sterilization papers and then forced to work in labor camps and even parents getting tortured. There have however been heavy debates about continuation of the policy and up until this moment they still are discussing and experimenting if they should remove this policy.

The analysis

China should move to a two-child policy


It will eventually have a big impact on the workforce, if China sticks to the one-child policy. This is because, by 2050, third of the population exists of old people. This will deeply affect the workforce in China. [9] After some time the youth will have to work harder to support the elderly. So the one-child policy has worsened the country’s aging crisis by limiting the size of the young labour pool that must support the large elderly population as it retires. It will lead into a never ending spiral, and that is not something positive for the economy of China.


Nobody knew if the two-child policy was a good idea, so they selected a few parts in china were they appointed the two-child policy. Since 1985 they lifted the family planning controls, the one-child policy, in four experimental areas in the northern and central China. These areas had low population growth, and the birth rate has been shrinking since 2000. Furthermore, the gender balance in these areas is better, and so are the age distributions. To top that, there have been fewer conflicts between the government and the people. [10]


The policy should be changed because of the promise that has been made three decades ago, when the one-child policy was introduced. In the promise it states that if there were changes in circumstances, such as the change in leadership, the policy would also change. [11] The new government has to keep this promise or they will damage the trust of the people of China. And that is not something a new government wants to start with.

Chinese families

Chinese families made many sacrifices under the one-child policy. Such as the wish to have a second child. But also the case that many families abandon their child or even have an abortion because they know that they are going to have a girl. Because of the one-child policy, many families prefer a boy which results in many unwanted baby girls. But also a very unbalanced gender population, because half of the population exist of boys. [12]

This is mostly the error of the government because they encouraged families to abort baby girls, and preferring a baby boy. It is all about the perception that the Chinese families get from the government. Because of the government, child abandoning and death has been very high. [13] And they don’t seem to care much about these children. So the two-child policy should lower the child abandoning and death numbers, because parents can have two children. So the chance of abandoning and death could decrease massively.

Furthermore, many Chinese families were tortured/punished because they broke the one-child policy. Men and women, who have violated the policy, have been detained, beaten, fined and sacked from their jobs. And to make it worse, they have denied registration permits for their children to access government services such as education. [14] For children, of the families who have been punished, who don’t even have a chance to live their life because of their parent’s faults. So basically the government took away the chance for children to be healthy and educated.

China should not move to a two-child policy


The one-child policy has prevented overpopulation in China. Even when there is a slight uptick in population, it could put enormous pressure on the country’s health, infrastructure and educational resources. [15] Most of the population of China would fall into poverty. Plus the economy of China could collapse under the pressure.

Furthermore, many of the young generation of China would not consider getting a second child because of the additional costs. Mainly because of the soaring inflation on everyday goods and astronomical home prices in many of the Chinese cities. Every day is like a struggle for them because of the daunting costs of child-rearing and other modern societal pressures. So they think twice before having another child. [16]

Even if the two-child policy takes effect, the vast majority of the Chinese families will stick to the one-child per family rule. They do this because of the high cost that will incur if they want to have a second child. [17] If you look at financial factors, many families can’t even pay the large sum if they want to have a second child. This is because you have to pay the living costs and the social maintenance fee [18] , which is imposed by the authorities if you want to have a second child. This is of course the main reason why many Chinese people would not consider having a second child.


The one-child policy has done many good things for the Chinese population. The measures of the policy have reduced China’s population anywhere between 100 to 400 million people since the 1985. This was to slow down the massive population growth. [19] If they didn’t slow down the population growth, most of the Chinese people would have lived in poverty. This is because the economy of China couldn’t handle the large population.


The policy shouldn’t be changed because of a promise made three decades ago. When changing such an important policy you have to look at the facts. Such as will it be profitable for the economy, would the number of abandoning children decrease and can the people handle this new policy. These are all things that should be looked at. Of course, it’s difficult when making a decision but you can’t make a decision based on a promise.

Chinese families

Even if the Chinese families made many sacrifices under the one-child policy, it would not count up to the benefits that the one-child policy brought. It has stopped the overpopulation in China. There is a big gender population gap, but can it really be fixed if you introduce the two-child policy? Chinese families will still have their culture of preferring a baby boy. This isn’t something that you can change easily with a policy. It is common in their culture that baby boys are preferred, because they can take over the company from their parents. And also support their parents in the future. Many believe that baby girls can’t provide this for their parents.


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