China’s family planning policy is also called one
child policy, which is a basic state policy in China. The Law of
Family Planning was passed in 2001. The policy coincides with the
current situation of China and it is well upheld by Chinese people.
China's present population is approximately 1.3 billion, which is
about one fifth of the global population. China has to feed 22%
of the world's people on 7% of the world's arable land, which is
a considerable task. The net population growth is still big in China
(10million per year) due to the huge basic population and longer
life expectancy (71.8). Therefore, it is China's interest as well
as the world's that some form of population control is implemented.
In 1949, the population on the mainland was about 541.67 million.
However, by 1969 the population was 806.71 million. The birth rate
then was very high--about 34.11 per thousand. The family planning
program had begun already, but due to a lack of understanding about
the seriousness of the problem and a lack of a clear policy, there
were no major effects. It wasn't until after the peak birth period,
1962-1972, that a stronger program was made to control the ever
increasing population. That program is basically what is followed
The so-called "one child policy" isn't really a one child
per person sort of policy. Family planning advocates delayed marriage
and child bearing, fewer and healthier births, and one child per
couple in the extremely urbanized areas, such as Beijing and Shanghai.
A couple in agricultural and pastoral areas may have a second child,
and an even more flexible policy is held for farmers and herdsmen
with difficulties such as a shortage of labor force. In such areas
that are inhabited by a small population of ethnic minorities, there
are no restrictions at all. There are also no specific requirements
in Tibet for family planning. So in reality, the "one child
policy" really applies to only the already densely populated
The term "family planning" encompasses more than just
the allowed number of births. It also involves contraceptives and
other such matters concerning childcare and childbirth. In order
to make the policy a little bit easier to bear, the government has
improved the health care of women and children, educated the people
about child bearing and child rearing, and provided contraceptives
and other birth control methods for free. In fact, China relies
heavily on scientific and technological methods in the area of contraception.
It leads the world in the research and development of male contraception
and has also made many important achievements in the area of female
contraception. China is sparing no effort to make safer, more effective,
cheaper, and more convenient forms of birth control.
The Chinese government also resolutely opposes forced abortion and
forced sterilization as a means of population control. Such activities
pressuring couples to do so are strictly prohibited. However, in
this grass roots organization, there are bound to be mistakes and
abuse of power, leading to abortions being strongly suggested. Sterilization
is only encouraged in a multi-child family with a mother that has
passed a safe child-bearing age.
There are many benefits to obeying the one-child policy. The most
important is the "One-Child Certificate." This grants
the parents many benefits including: income bonuses better health
care benefits, better retirement pensions and priority in housing.
The one-child policy has worked efficiently in cities because most
citizens have jobs and they can get pension after retiring. They
do not need their children to support them. In the country, it has
been less successful. There, children are needed to work in the
fields. Also, parents need children to support them when they are
Although the policy has had many positive effects on the country,
it has had some negative effects as well. One example is infanticide.
The Chinese have a tradition of large families. The sons carry on
the family name and grandchildren who will continue to carry it.
Many rural families value boys more than girls, there are some bad
cases of infanticide of girls. Of course it is illegal but not common.
Baby girls sometimes are given up for adoption by other families,
which is really common in the country side. For most families they
just have one child so the child was always much spoiled. More boys
than girls are born every year that made the sex proportion unbalanced.
The ratio was 116.9:100 in 2005. It is really a serious problem,
which arouse the concern of the public.
China’s family planning policy really has made great achievements
during last 30 years. The side effect is much less than the good
effect although it is still controversial. China will still carry
out this policy continuously in the future.