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Friday, May 26, 2006 Bookmark Now! | Email to a friend  

Do they still practice population control in China?

The most recent estimate of China's population puts the figure at
1,313,973,713 by July 2006. That's a lotta folks. A January press release from The China Population Information and Research Center states that the country "will work to limit its mainland population below 1.37 billion by 2010."

China famously set a limit of one child per couple in 1979. In 1986, the limit was increased to two children for non-Han ethnic minorities. Currently, most rural families can have two or more children if the first is female and the children weren't born too close together. The one-child policy has been liberalized over the years because the declining birth rate has created, among other problems, a
"one-two-four" dilemma: one child taking care of two parents and four grandparents.

Couples who adhere to the one-child limit have been rewarded with better housing and services, as well as money. China has also used marketing campaigns ("One is good, two is ok and three is too many"), fines, and more coercive methods to reduce birth rates.

In 1982, the government instituted mandatory sterilization of one member of a couple that have two or more children. In the higher-birth rural areas, government workers monitored individual households and encouraged couples to comply with family planning policy. Both forced and sex-selective abortion, as well as infanticide of females, have also been alleged. China has acknowledged that "isolated, uncondoned abuses" have occurred.

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