Current Events: China Removal of the One child policy- By Natalie Sweet

My issue is the removal of the one child policy. My question is "How has the removal of the one child policy affected society?" This issue is a legacy of the modern past, because it is an example of Communism. Communism is when a single authoritarian party is in control of the social, political, and economic systems. The one child policy demonstrates the effects of Communism, because the government is in control of the population and they control how many babies a mother can have. This has affected the present in many ways, such as unbalanced population structure, which includes too many males and not enough females, birth control devices left in women, and an abundance of elderly people.

Students protesting the one child policy

In the 20th century, China's leaders concluded that their population would grow to dangerous levels if they didn't do something about it. One of the rules they made to prevent dangerous population growth was the one child policy, which restricted Chinese couples to one child each. On October 29th, 2015, the Chinese government ended the one child policy, and made a two child policy. However, the damage that this policy created in society today is clear. The one child policy has left China with a very uneven population structure. There will be many more young males than females, because when the one child policy was in place, families wanted a boy and often would have an abortion if the fetus was female. In 2016, the ratio of males to every female was 1.15, the most off-balanced gender ratio in the world. It is predicted that the one child policy will leave behind an excess of 30 million men by 2020.

Graph showing uneven population structure

Another problem created by the one child policy is the growing country's elderly population and the lack of workers. The population of elderly people has been increasing since the one child policy was put in place, in 2015, 9.55% of the population in China was over the age of 65, while it was only 3.36% in 1965. 90 million people are expected to retire over the next 30 years, which leaves the labor forces of China with very few people until the children are old enough to work.

IUDs statistics

A third way that the one child policy has affected society today are the IUDs left in women. IUDs are an intrauterine device, that make sure that women can't have more than one baby. Most mothers were required to get one. It was the way that the government kept the one child policy in check, because it limited couples to one child only. It was the national policy in China for over 30 years. China started to force Chinese women to get one after they had one child, and to be sterilized after they had two. If they didn't, their children could be denied access to public schools and health insurance. Between 1980 and 2014, 324 million women had IUDs implanted, and 107 million got tubal ligations. The people who officiated this were judged on their skill of meeting the target, which lead some officials to order that if the women resisted, force may be used. A year after the end of the one child policy, the government hoped to make it up to the millions of women who were forced to have an IUD by offering to remove them for free. However, there was no apology or remorse in this proposal, which has made many Chinese citizens furious. At the government's offer to remove the IUDs, many women have decided that the government has again gotten too involved in their private lives. Also, for most women, the offer is too late: they can not have a second child.

Map of areas in china and how the policy affected them

Some additional questions that my research has prompted are "What made the government decide to remove the one child policy?" and "Who was in favor of the removal? Who wasn't?" My issue is important because the removal of the policy really changed the lives of many Chinese citizens for the better, and it gave them more freedom. My issue also demonstrates how Communism has affected China's present through the one child policy, and that the one child policy is very clearly a legacy of China's modern history.

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