Thursday, January 17, 2013

China One-child Policy is Dangerously Flawed

THIS may be old news but ongoing debate on pros and cons of manipulating with population growth may have dire consequences.

However THIS latest news confirms the one-child policy will stay. Personally I find this a dangerous decision even though the National Population and Family Planning Commission of the P.R. of China may have valid arguments why they are not relaxing this ruling.

According to Wikipedia article HERE, this policy was introduced in 1978 and applied the following year. It wasn't applied across the country. Urban families were made to comply whereas in the rural areas families could still have several children, perhaps needed to meet the labor intensive agricultural and backyard industries. The report also said that as of 2007, 35.9% of the population were subject to a strict one-child limit. 52.9% were permitted to have a second child if their first was a daughter; 9.6% of Chinese couples were permitted two children regardless of their genders; and 1.6% - mainly Tibetans - had no limit at all.

The one-child policy was enforced to prevent a population explosion. At the time it was introduced, China was economically poor and an over-populated China could potentially give rise to food shortage and civil uprising. However China has seen a dramatic economic transformation over the past 15 years or so. The one-child policy in the meantime created social problems not anticipated. As reported, some parents may over-indulge their only child. The media referred to the indulged children in one-child families as "little emperors". Since the 1990s, some people have worried that this will result in a higher tendency toward poor social communication and cooperation skills among the new generation, as they have no siblings at home. No social studies have investigated the ratio of these over-indulged children and to what extent they are indulged. With the first generation of children born under the policy (which initially became a requirement for most couples with first children born starting in 1979 and extending into 1980s) reaching adulthood, such worries were reduced. However, the "little emperor syndrome" and additional expressions, describing the generation of Chinese singletons are very abundant in the Chinese media, Chinese academy and popular discussions. Being over-indulged, lacking self-discipline and having no adaptive capabilities are adjectives which are highly associated with Chinese singletons.

China could be making a tragic mistake like what Singapore has done. Out of fear of overpopulating the island, Kuan Yew likewise control population growth much like China. But Singapore became an economic powerhouse much sooner and being an almost pure urban society the impact of slow down in childbirth is more severe. Presently Singapore is in a panic state. Young people are not marrying, or prioritizing career over marriage to marry late, which for the female, reduces conception opportunities. The outcome is declining Singaporean population, exacerbated by migration of young professionals to nearby Australia. Incentivizing marriage and early child birth isn't working as expected. To keep business running the government has allowed foreign workers to arrive the shores, or airport, of this tiny island nation. Currently the foreigners predominantly from PR of China seems to have taken over the country. Singaporeans felt they have been invaded, no, violated.

Will China face a semblance like Singapore, say, 25-30 years from now? If the Chinese in mainland get use to having NO children as well when they discover the appetite of wealth and pleasure, yes a similar scenario can occur. The new generation Chinese may not bother about history and the struggles of their forefathers. While China remains the most populous nation ramming up birth rate at will is not possible when mindset of the newer generation change. Secretly many young adults choose NOT to marry but enjoy casual no commitment relationship applying easy birth control methods. Singlehood will dictate future lifestyle and when the new leaders emerge 10-20 years from now and decide China is ready to end its one child policy I'm afraid the young Chinese will not listen. Thing may not be universally this bad but just notice that prosperity tend to equate to freedom from long term commitment. If really lonely they can always adopt a child from a poor nation. If they don't mind they can have a dog, a cat, a fish, even a bird to keep them company. Wealth? When they die their names live on through trusts in their own names. No need to give away.

For long term survival of China and the Chinese race, tradition and culture, China must dismantle its one-child policy gradually over the next 10 years.

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