The Chinese One Child Policy, a Birth Planning Method

Subject: Politics & Government
Pages: 3
Words: 704
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: Undergraduate


The Chinese one child policy is simply a birth planning method that seeks to ensure that families have one child. As a matter of fact, it mostly applies to a number of families which aims to control the country’s population. It should be known that this is Chinas family planning policy. As far as this policy is concerned, couples are only allowed to have one child. Exemptions are only allowed for rural couples and other minority ethnic groups which is understandable because of various reasons. It should be known that so far, 35.9% of the country’s population has been subjected to this policy (Greenhalgh 23). Foreigners who live in China are not expected to adhere to this policy which has been justified. Prior to the introduction of this policy, the country was facing a lot of economic and social problems that needed to be controlled thereby justifying a family planning policy. Authorities claim that the policy has been effective because it has prevented more than 350 million births (Greenhalgh 37).


There have been a lot of controversies as far as implementation of this policy is concerned. In this case, there are a lot of negative social consequences that have been witnessed as a result of this policy. The country has an evident gender imbalance and this is blamed on the Chinese one child policy. Social problems like abortion and the underreporting of female births have also been witnessed as time goes by which needs to be sorted out. As much as there might be all this controversies, the policy is still supported by more than 76% of the country’s population (Huiting 29). This policy and law has mostly been implemented and enforced through various fines that are charged. In this case, this is mostly done in relation to a given family’s income and other factors. There is a commission that is tasked with raising awareness about the policy. As a matter of fact, it also carried out inspection but there are families that have not adhered to this policy because they are still having more than one child.

It has been estimated that this policy is expected to remain in place for the next decade. There are other citizens who have been violating the policy which needs to be reviewed. In this case, the law needs to be enforced further because it was mostly subjected to the older generation that is being wiped out. This means that more attention should be put on the younger and incoming generations. There are no alterations that are expected on the law until 2015 (Greenhalgh 47). This year, the government has reviewed it to allow couples to have an additional child. The policy was mainly created to address the country’s overpopulation mostly in urban areas. In this case, couples who have one child are given many benefits that others can not enjoy. As much as this limit is mostly enforced in urban areas, it has been implemented in other areas depending on the location (Huiting 67).


Couples are always allowed to apply for a second child depending on the first child. In this case, this can be allowed if the first child has some disability or mental illness (Huiting 32). Violation has always attracted a lot of penalties that are extended to the workplace where an individual might be denied bonuses. There is an exception where children who are born in other countries are not covered under this policy. The birth rate in China has reduced drastically as a result of this policy where it stands at 1.8 births per woman (Greenhalgh 56). In this case, the country’s economic growth rate is highly tied to this policy which can not be disputed. Problems that come with overpopulation have been reduced in the country which is commendable. There have been criticisms as far as this policy is concerned and this is in relation to exaggerated benefits. Unequal enforcement and varying effects on the female population should also be looked at.


Greenhalgh, Susan. Just One Child: Science and Policy in Deng’s China. California: University of California Press, 2008. Print.

Huiting, Hu. Family Planning Law and China’s Birth Control Situation. Hong Kong: China Daily, 2002. Print.