Headlines on one-child policy change are a little misleading

China’s government on Thursday announced that it will allow families to have a total of two children, after enforcing a one-child policy since 1980 to combat a population that appeared to be growing out of control.

Announced as part of China’s 13th Five-Year Plan, although the policy was ultimately successful in reining in China’s population growth, it has caused significant demographic issues and social problems, namely a ratio of 116-118 men for every 100 women, and saddling a generation of only children with caring for two aging parents.

The policy has been under quiet review for years. Members of China’s 56 official minority groups have always been exempted entirely from any population limitation. A two-child policy in many rural areas, where couples who did not have a boy as their first child were allowed to have a second, was permitted. Within the last two years, residents of Beijing both of whom were an only child could apply to have a second child when the first was four years old.


However, headlines that state “China abandons one-child policy” are inaccurate. The government is not granting its Han Chinese citizens the chance to have a family of any size they wish. Families are still limited to two children and must still apply for permission to have them, as they did for their single child. There has been no indication yet if China family planning authorities will continue to use forced abortions and other coercive methods against couples who choose to have three or more children.

The China Patriotic Chinese Association, China’s state-run Catholic overseer, had no immediate reaction to the policy change, nor did the Vatican.

Reaction to the decision was mostly positive, but with some sadness expressed by parents, especially mothers, who had missed their chance to have a second child. Many comments related not to the policy change itself, but to the process around it. “If the government really wants to help the people, they would simplify the approval process [for having children,” one poster to an article about the announcement wrote on baidu.com, China’s most popular search engine. “If people have a second child, then they really won’t be able to afford a home in this property market,” wrote another, commenting on a similar story on the Chinese website of Global Times, a nationalist newspaper.

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William Rydberg
2 years 1 month ago
A second child policy is already in effect in the Rural (farming areas). Sadly, boys are preferred over girls. Some experts say there are 102 boys for every 100 girls - a statistical anomaly. One prays for the missing girls as well as any male child considered deformed...
Tim O'Leary
2 years 1 month ago
The one-child policy was effectively a sex-selection policy, which means it was an anti-girl policy. The New York Times writer Maria Hvistendahl conclusively demonstrated this in her book "Unnatural Selection" - a must read for anyone seriously interested in women rights. (http://www.marahvistendahl.com/unnatural-selection ). Far more females were killed by this policy than all the other political ideologies of the 20th century. But the amazing thing detailed in the book is how much Planned Parenthood, and its international agency (IPPF) directly advocated sex selection abortion as a particularly efficient way to limit population (less girls --> less babies). They only stepped back from that anti-girl policy when they were exposed by pro-life advocates in the USA (just as PP is now doing since exposed as a profiteer in selling baby parts). Other enthusiastic advocates of killing girls in the womb, according to the book, were Paul Ehrlich (author of the Population Bomb - see chapter 7), Steven Polgar (head of Planned Parenthood Federation of America), Alan Guttmacher (PP leader and founder of the eponymous Institute), and Margaret Mead (the anthropologist feminist), If you can get the book, read especially after the following quote in chapter 7 (page 95): "Throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s a number of influential U.S. experts sounded their approval for sex selection everywhere from the pages of major scientific journals to the podiums at government-sponsored seminars. Many more stood back and said nothing as their colleagues advocated a disturbed sort of technological sexism, and then, decades later, pretended as if that advocacy never happened."
Stanley Kopacz
2 years 1 month ago
We should punish the Chinese nation by eliminating most favored nation status and bringing back the manufacturing capabilities the capitalist whores sent over there. Fat chance. Free trade über alles. Republicans and blue dog Democrats should never complain about anything China does.
Tim O'Leary
2 years 1 month ago
Stanley - That would be exactly the wrong thing to do (no wonder Sanders and Clinton are against free trade, and the nativist Trump indirectly so). After decades of forced abortions, imprisonments, and the usual fare of communist oppression, the last thing the Chinese poor need is a trade war that would further impoverish them. And the poor in America do not need the resultant inflation in basic goods that a trade war would produce. America should find smarter ways to increase valuable jobs in our country. It is simply unChristian to attack the poor of other nations for our own failures in education and manufacturing efficiency. As to which party was most supportive of the Chinese one-child party, or abortion at any age, and for any reason, I leave that to your imagination.
Stanley Kopacz
2 years 1 month ago
You people grow apoplectic about Iran getting a few billion released because it will promote terrorism. Yet we now have China building islands so it can claim the seas around them. You Friedmanites made this monster because you are more loyal to your ideology than America. You are worse than communists in tearing down my country.
Tim O'Leary
2 years 1 month ago
Stan - I must have hit a nerve with my comment, to have you go off the deep end. I can understand that you desperately want to change the subject about the long-standing complicity of American liberal intellectuals in the Chinese gendercide. You may be interested to know that Hvistendahl does not spare the Rockefeller Republicans and Nixonians for their support of population control extremism as well. But, that was then. Today, all the pro-abortion forces are now well ensconced in the Dark side - which in America is the Democratic party (just look at the party affiliation of those who voted against defunding Planned Parenthood).

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