In 1979, after years of encouraging reproduction, the Chinese government implemented a policy known today as the one-child policy. The policy has at times been praised as an effective tool for ensuring that China will be able to continue to support its large population and at times reviled as a tool for human rights abuses and female infanticide.
The policy was adopted to ensure that China, a country that has historically been prone to severe flooding and famine, would be able to feed its people. The rapid population growth that occurred after the Communist Party came to power had put a strain on the government's efforts to help its people. So in an attempt to combat the widespread poverty and improve the overall quality of life, the one-child policy was gradually adopted.
The one child policy, consists of three main points.
ÃÂ· advocating delayed marriage and delayed child bearing
ÃÂ· advocating fewer and healthier births, and
ÃÂ· advocating one child per couple
However, the one-child policy does not mean that all families have only one child.
The policy is very difficult to enforce, especially in rural areas, where enforcement officials are more prone to corruption and families need to be large to support the parents in their old age. In addition, families sometimes attempt to circumvent the law by sending pregnant women to stay with relatives. The resulting child will be unregistered, making it difficult for the child to be educated and advance in life, but will still be able to support the family.
Besides these de facto exceptions to the policy there are some formal exceptions. Firstly, ethnic minorities are formally excluded from the policy, although some have reported being forced to comply. Secondly, if both parents are only children, they are allowed to have more than one child...