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China’s One-Child Policy

In our society, the United States, children are seen potentially as the as the future. Whether they are male or female, they have the power to be something when they grow up. But if their life is cut short, the opportunity to do so is taken away. In 1976, China implemented what is known as the \”One-Child Policy\” in order to try and solve their problem of overpopulation (McDonald, 1996). Although the policy may seem as though it is a good idea in solving the problem, the consequences of this policy has lead to female infanticide.

Throughout centuries, China has been battling with overpopulation, one of the biggest issues that the nation has been faced with, forcing the government to enforce the one-child policy. The desire to control the rapidly growing population dates back to the Mao Zedong era where the population number was at a ripe 602 million people (Stycos, 1989). He believed that with every mouth comes \”two hands\”. What he did not realize at the time was that too many mouths bring hardship, poverty, and paucity of food supplies.

In 1979, the Chinese government decided to enforce a policy that would help minimize the growth of their population (McDonald, 1996). The one-child policy was what they thought would solve the problem. Married couples would have to sign an agreement known as the one-child certificate. This certificate served as a contract between the couple and the Chinese Government stating that the couples and the one child that they have will be granted economic and educational advantages in return for promising not to have more than one child (Audubon, 1994).

Since each couple is allowed one child, the gender of that child determines whether or not it stays in China as part of the family. Since the beginning of time, females were always seen as being inferior to males in any society. The females ultimate duties were to have and take of the children, the household duties and be the servant to their husband while the males worked and took care of the family in terms of financial status.

In China, the males are the ones that the majority of the couples chose because they are the ones who not only carry on the family name, but also are most likely the ones who are able to provide support for their parents in their old age (Li &Choe, 1997). In China, when a female is born, especially first, there are many different choices the couple must make. First of all, are they willing to keep the child since it is the only one they can legally keep? If the couple decides that the child they want is a male, they must decide on what to do with this child.

What happens to the child ranges from giving them up to state orphanages to murder. Due to the enforcement of the one-child policy, many female children end up in orphanages (Beijing Review, 1997). Being put into an orphanage in our society would give the child a chance to live and maybe even be adopted by another family. In China, the conditions in the orphanages are so filthy that the neglect that they would have at home if the couple decided to keep the female would be better than the maltreatment they would receive.

Many female children end up in orphanages in China rarely having males occupy them unless there was something wrong with the child. Each month 90 percent from 50 to 60 baby girls arrive in one of the many orphanages and end their lives their (Choe, 1995). The children sit on bamboo benches with their hands and feet tied to the armrests and legs of the chair. Below them are buckets that are placed under the holes in the seats to catch their excretions. When it is time for bed, the children are taken out of the seats and tied to their beds (Geographical Magazine, 1996).

This is the treatment that that the children face everyday and the Chinese do not see a problem with such harsh behavior. If anything of this sort occurred in the United States, the people would see to it that those who are involved get punished for such unimaginable behavior. Another way in which female children are gotten rid of is for the family to get rid of it or family planning officials will see to it that they are gotten rid of. Many times, when a female child is born, the hospital would not even record it because it should not exist (Woods, 1995).

If they take the child home, they must keep her a secret because if family planning officials find out, they will take her. Others may choose to abandon the child to starve and die. Or they might send her to a special room where the child is forgotten all about to die. In one instance, family planning officials found out that someone was going to have a baby girl and they ordered that she be injected with saline. The child was born alive and the family planning officials ordered the husband to kill the child and he refused.

When they arrived at home, more family planning officials were there to take the baby. They took the baby and drowned it at a near by paddy (McDonald, 1996). Such cruel acts are being looked away at, all to simply try and control the population growth in China. These acts in the United States will lead a person to be sentenced with the death penalty. There is no excuse in killing innocent children. Instead, China should inform their population of birth control methods.

Although such behavior is seen in our society as cruel, China and its citizens see the policy as a benefit not only to themselves, but to everyone else. Since China is already overpopulated, this method (although not a very good method) will help to control the number of people in China, which is the main purpose of the policy. By keeping up with the policy in keeping the numbers down in China, they are keeping the economy in good condition. If the policy was ignored, the rise in population would result in the downfall of the economy and bring famine to the population (Choe, 1995).

By having one child benefits the child in the sense that the parents are able to concentrate on them. They try to ensure that the child grow sup healthy with the best care. By keeping down the numbers in China, there would be more employment. For those couples who signed the one-child policy certificate, the government provides them with interest free loans, cheaper fertilizer, and retirement funds (Beijing Review, 1997). All entities that would be nice to have are provided to them in order to follow the policy.

Gender and who is born first is major issue to families in China who are trying to keep up with the one-child policy. One child per family has had a good effect on the population although the means of following the policy is unimaginable behavior. The values that they have in their culture differ so much from the United States. Such behavior would lead to harsh punishment. There has not been a policy that controls the amount of children we have yet, but too many people in the United States may ultimately lead to such a policy.

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