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Fines. Forced sterilizations. Forced abortions. Infanticide. Abandoned children. These are just some of the things that have occurred in China due to the country’s now-terminated one-child policy. Not only is China’s gender ratio unbalanced, but its demographic transition model would be upside-down and incredibly disproportionate if people were to continue to only have one child. This topic is one worth learning about because many citizens of China were mistreated if they violated the law. Countless Chinese children struggled growing up because they had to remain undocumented to make sure government officials did not find out their parents had had a second child. Millions of men will end up unmarried. The country lost about 5 million people from its workforce every year. Numerous women were forced to have an abortion. Throughout the entirety of this essay, the history of the policy, stories of people who were affected by the policy, the consequences of violating the policy, and its effects will be discussed. While the policy has done what it was put in place for, it has also deeply affected the lives of many of China’s citizens.During the 20th century, the Chinese government realized something needed to happen to slow the country’s population. The promotion of family planning and birth control began, but all efforts to slow population growth remained discretionary. However, it soon became noticed that something more was needed to ensure population growth did not outpace economic development. There were about 970 million people living in China at this time, and resource challenges were being caused by the rapidly growing population. Because of this, a one-child policy was introduced in 1979. On September 25, 1980, the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party published a letter enforcing the new policy. The policy was slowly relaxed in 2015 when more couples fitting certain standards were permitted to have a second child. It was announced that the policy would end on October 29, 2015, and the termination of the one-child policy went into effect in January of 2016. There was a growing proportion of elderly people, and not enough people would be entering the workforce to support the older citizens once they retired. Because of the policy, China’s fertility rate has declined, and the sex ratio is unbalanced. There are now around 118 men to every 100 women, meaning millions of men will not be able to find wives in China.Some exceptions were made for couples that, for example, were both only children, were members of ethnic minorities, or whose firstborn was handicapped. Those people were able to have more children. For people that did not meet that criteria, the policy was not one to be taken lightly. Contraception was made widely available for those willing to adhere to the policy, and financial incentives, better employment opportunities, higher wages, and government assistance were offered. Those who did not comply, however, could be subjected to forced sterilizations, forced abortions, or fines, and lose their jobs. People living in rural areas were more likely to disobey the policy than people living in urban areas for multiple reasons. Most of the population in urban areas were made up of smaller families that were more willing to obey the policy, whereas families in rural areas were typically larger. People living in the countryside may have needed to have more children to help them maintain and tend to their land. Some village family-planning officials had even charted the pelvic-exam results and menstrual cycles of all of the women in their area to make sure they had not violated the one-child policy. Wealthier citizens, however, were able to escape the wrath and restrictions of the policy by paying a “social compensation fee” of up to 10 times the amount of a household’s annual income, or by travelling to countries such as the United States, Hong Kong, or Singapore to give birth.Though the policy did end, there are many irreversible events that occurred that will continue to have an impact on the citizens of China’s lives: (1) One woman in China was eight months pregnant when she was dragged to a clinic, bound to a surgical table, and had a lethal drug injected into her abdomen because she was unable to pay the ¥20,000 fine for getting pregnant with her second child. She stayed with her hands and feet bound to the table for two days until a doctor finally yanked her murdered child out by its foot, and proceeded to drop it into a garbage can. The lady did not have the money to pay for a cab, so she had to stagger home with blood dripping down her leg; (2) Male children were usually preferred, so many sex-selective abortions occurred because couples wanted to make sure their one child would be a boy. Little girls were abandoned, placed in orphanages, and sometimes even killed when they were infants; (3) According to the data released by the Chinese Health Ministry in March of 2013, approximately 336 million abortions and 222 million sterilizations have been carried out in China since the early 1970s; (3) Around 13 million Chinese people are unregistered because of the one-child policy and of citizens’ violations of the family-planning regulations. Many of those unregistered people were unable to do things such as attend school and receive a proper education, and get a passport, while their parents may have been forced out of work, fined, etc. It would be nice to say that so many people were affected by the population policy if it were for a good cause. However, the policy has been described as futile by many; China’s birth rate had already been declining when the policy was first introduced in 1979. The events that occurred in that time period and location were absolutely horrible. I understand that China deemed it necessary to keep the population under control, but I definitely think the bad outweighed the good in this situation.I have learned so much from researching this important subject. Even though it did not really directly affect me, I have started to look at my life with a new perspective. As Americans, it can be easy to take many things for granted. I feel that even though our government has its faults, we should still be grateful for it. Luckily, our government does not get too involved with the personal lives of the citizens of the US. We do not have to go through the trials and tribulations that those in China may have had to go through. If someone decides that they want a large family, our government will not intervene. There were so many talented, special children that could have been born to loving couples in China, but the government decided to step in and prevent them from being born. I do not believe that the government should be able to make the decision on whether or not someone has an abortion or gets sterilized. I am grateful that I and all of the wonderful people I have met in my few short years in this world did not suffer the same fate as those Chinese children that were forcibly aborted, abandoned, and even murdered. Works CitedBeech, Hannah. “China’s One-Child Policy: A Legacy.” Time. Time. Web. 07 Jan. 2018. Hannah Beech is both a resident of Shanghai, and the East Asia and China Bureau Chief for TIME magazine. In the past, she was relocated to Hong Kong, Beijing, and Bangkok for TIME, making her, in my opinion, a great source of information and experiences based on the topic of the one-child policy. In this work of hers, she identifies some of the negative outcomes caused by the aforementioned policy. For example, Beech highlights the labor shortage and imbalanced gender ratio in China, along with some of the country’s citizens’ apparent lack of faith in their government. She then finishes off the article by detailing some of the struggles that many citizens faced—the struggles of being undocumented. Unlike Kenneth Pletcher, Hannah Beech gave a more specific number of undocumented Chinese citizens. Kenneth Pletcher stated that it could be between hundreds of thousands and millions, but Hannah Beech said it was somewhere closer to 13 million.”China Birth Rate up after One-child Rule Change.” BBC News. BBC, 23 Jan. 2017. Web. 6 Jan. 2018. In 2016, officials said that China’s birth rates reached their highest level since 2000. This was due to the fairly recent “relaxation” of the country’s one-child policy. Approximately 17.86 million children were born in China in the year of 2016, 45% of which had at least one older sibling. Yang Wenzhuang of the National Health and Family Planning Commission stated that between 17 million and 20 million births were expected to occur each year by 2020. He went on to say that the adjustment of China’s “family planning policy” was “extremely timely and extremely effective” due to the fact that there was a notable increase in births even though the number of women of childbearing age had fallen by 5 million. I chose to use this source because I believe that it enhances my topic (China’s former population policy) by providing numerous statistics about the effects and outcomes of the one-child policy. Most of the other articles that I’ve based my information upon did not include as much numerical data as this article published by BBC.Connett, Wendy. “Understanding China’s Former One Child Policy.” Investopedia. 29 Oct. 2015. Web. 6 Jan. 2018. Wendy Connett has worked as a journalist and editor for over twenty years. She has travelled to over twenty different countries, including China. Within China, she visited places such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. Her works have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, National Geographic Traveller, Time, The Guardian, Forbes Traveller, The Observer and more. In this article about China’s now-discontinued one-child policy, Connett stated that China had initiated the population policy to ensure “population growth did not rise faster than economic development,” and to “ease resource challenges and imbalances caused by a rapidly expanding population.” Connett went on to describe reasons for the policy’s termination, including: (1) there will be many elderly citizens retiring, but not enough young people in the workforce to provide for them; and (2) there are about 1.176 men to every 1 woman in the country, causing researchers to believe that there could be 30 million more men than there are women by the year of 2020.Feng Jianmei Breaks Silence | All Girls Allowed. 14 Feb. 2013. Web. 3 Jan. 2018. The purpose of was to expose the injustice and brutality of the one-child policy. This article did just that. Unlike the article published on Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, this source quotes Feng Jianmei on the statements she made in her interview about the abortion with Dragon TV. Feng Jianmei was beaten, blindfolded, and injected with chemicals by Chinese officials to terminate her second pregnancy. Her stillborn child was left on the hospital bed next to her in a plastic bag. Months after the forced abortion, Feng was still making trips to the hospital to get checked and have a small surgery. The local government originally said she could get reimbursed for the cost of her surgeries (¥10,000), but they no longer mentioned it to her.Jian, Ma. “China’s Brutal One-Child Policy.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 21 May 2013. Web. 7 Jan. 2018. Ma Jian, the Chinese-born author of over five books, highlights how the human rights of the middle and lower-class were violated because of the one-child policy, but the rich were able to escape the grasp of the strict government. Unlike the other sources I’ve used to gather information on China’s one-child policy, this piece makes examples of lots of real people’s stories to better express the harm the policy has caused, and the ways it has negatively affected many citizens of the country. This article will help me with taking a more personal approach to the topic, rather than just relaying the facts. I believe that utilizing the information I gather from Jian’s writing will help me get the reader to feel sympathy for those affected by the policy, thus making them more interested and passionate about the topic.Littlejohn, Reggie. “BREAKING: (Warning, Graphic Image) Chinese Woman Forcibly Aborted at Seven Months.” Women’s Rights Without Frontiers. 12 June 2012. Web. 7 Jan. 2018. Reggie Littlejohn, founder and president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, created her organization to expose gendercide, forced abortions, and sexual slavery in China. In this article, she brought attention to how Feng Jianmei was wronged by the Chinese government when her 7-month-old child was forcibly aborted. This source provided basic information about the event, including how Feng Jianmei was beaten by Family Planning Officials while her husband, Deng Jiyuan, was at work because she couldn’t pay the fine of ¥40,000. I decided to include information from this article because it showed how cruel the policy and those who enforced it could be. I hoped to show that it deeply affected people, and wasn’t just some simple policy.Pletcher, Kenneth. “One-child Policy.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 24 July 2017. Web. 05 Jan. 2018. Ken Pletcher, a Senior Editor for Encyclopædia Britannica, holds a Master of Arts in Japanese studies, and has minored in Asian studies. In one of his recent articles, he stated that the Chinese government began its efforts to reduce population growth by promoting planned parenthood and the use of birth control, which were voluntary until after 1976. Punishments for those who disobeyed the government’s new policy could include forced abortions and sterilizations. However, job opportunities, financial incentives, and multiple methods of contraception were made available to those who complied. Due to the one-child policy and the desirability of boys rather than girls, there was an increase in abandoned girls, young females placed in orphanages, and the number of killings of newborn girls. The policy also led to couples hiding their children, causing challenges for the kids later in life when they attempted to receive employment and formal educations.

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