China’s Population Problem

The Chinese government has taken the enforcement of family planning and
birthrate laws to an extreme by violating the civil rights of its citizens,
which has had bad effects on the morale of its people (Whyte 161). China’s
population has grown to such an enormous size that it has become a problem to
both the people and government. China, the most populous country in the world,
has an estimated population of about one thousand-one hundred-thirty three point
six million (Hsu 1). Ninety-four percent of the population thrives in the
eastern half of China, which composes about forty-three percent of China’s total
area (Hsu 1). The eastern half of China contains its most populous cities like
Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin. However these cities have a low fertility rate
due to recent bandwagons of birth control. The average density in the eastern
half of China averages around two-hundred and thirty-six people per square
kilometer, whereas the density in the west half averages around ten point six
people persquare kilometer (Hsu 1). Current enforcement of Chinese laws
prevents migration between provinces without proper authorization, as the
citizens in the west half of China have a desire to live in a more urban life
where jobs can be found easier, and the citizens in the more populous eastern
half have a stronger desire to live in the more rural western China (Hsu 4).

The Chinese have always had a large population (Hsu 1). Even in ancient times
where the population would never fall below sixty million (Hsu 1). Later, in
the eighteenth century the population rose exceedingly and China became the
strongest and most economically wealthy (Hsu 1). By the time the Qing Dynasty
ruled, the fertile people of China had reached a population of three-hundred
million (Hsu 1). The birthrate in China did decline in the nineteen-fifties due
to campaigning by the government on birth control (Hsu 1). However, after the
population decreased the government turned their attention to other matters
while the population slowly crept up again. Once again in the nineteen-
seventies the population became an issue and it received the governments full
attention. In order that the government might resolve this problem, the “Wan Xi
Shao” policy, or the “marry later, give longer spacing between children, and
have fewer children” policy began to be enforced (Hsu 2). This policy proved to
have some effect but it did not stop the fertile people of China, and the
population has steadily risen to the current population (Hsu 2).

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The recent laws imposed on the people of China include the “One child per family
law”(Hsu 2). This law began to be enforced in nineteen-seventy-nine, so that
the government might achieve its goal of reducing the rate of natural increase
to five per thousand by nineteen-eighty-five, and to zero by the year two-
thousand(Hsu 2). The immense population had become straining on the economy and
resources (Linden 1). Migration to less populous areas of China became
restricted so that the government might be able to control the population more
effectively and easily (Hsu 4). Currently, the “one child per family” law still
exist, but it has become more flexible, in that it allows a second child but
with a longer interval between the first (Hsu 2). Through the health service
programs across China, birth control pills, inter uterine devices, condoms,
diaphragms , foams, and jellies had been distributed in a matter of time
(C.Q.W.R. 1). The government made life easier for those who chose to obey this
law by offering incentives such as: paid maternity leave, time off for breast
feeding, free child care, free contraceptives, and paid time off for abortions
and sterilization (Ehrlich 205). Other rewards for obeying this law and not
exceeding the limit included better housing and educational opportunities for
their children (Ehrlich 205). Doctors “volunteered” their services to sterilize
couples who had finished childbearing, and doctors also provided free abortions
at local clinics and hospitals (Ehrlich 205). However the government has
encountered resistance in rural areas and this has led to many abuses, and one
of the reasons why the government has performed many coerced abortions and
sterilizations (C.Q.W.R. 1).

The Chinese government has committed brutal and unjustified acts against
offenders of the “one child” policy, and in general the enforcement of these
laws has taken the governments undivided attention (Ehrlich 205). Resistance by
traditional citizens who mainly live in less populous areas, have received
involuntary abortions and sterilizations. China has gone to great lengths to
control population, and it has involved reprogramming citizens to have smaller
families and to


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