China’s one-child policy isn’t going anywhere

posted at 9:41 am on January 17, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Ah, communist China — where forced abortions, extralegal detention and torture, religious persecution, rampant censorship, and other such egregious human-rights abuses are just the non-newsworthy stuff of the normal and everyday.

There’s been some speculation in recent months that the Chinese regime has been considering doing away with their infamous one-child policy (the violation of which results in major fines in modernized, more upscale areas but sometimes much worse in poorer, more remote areas), but it looks like the government is ultimately balking at the possibility of so much administrative upheaval and just isn’t quite ready to abandon the nefarious policy.

China has quelled speculation its controversial “one-child” policy is to be scrapped, instead announcing Wednesday that family planning laws to curb the birth rate will remain.

“The policy should be a long-term one and its primary goal is to keep a low birthrate,” Wang Xia, minister in charge of the National Population and Family Planning Commission, said. …

“I’m surprised,” said Professor Shaun Breslin, associate fellow at U.K. think tank, Chatham House. “Almost everything we had heard in recent months pointed towards a relaxation of one-child.”

The 1979 law prohibits about one-third of China’s 1.3 billion citizens from having a second child. The policy is officially backed up by fines, but campaigners say more than one million forced abortions are carried out every year. …

Which in turn means that the many sex-selective abortions leading to a wild gender disparity and the obvious demographic problems of a tiny younger generation supporting a relatively huge aging one, are going to go unsolved. Not to mention, a recent study found that the one-child policy is having a net negative effect on China’s population — in a nutshell, these generations of financially overburdened only children may have some serious psychological damage:

The Chinese policy that limits most families to having one child has had psychological fallout for the children born after it was instituted in 1979, economists report in the journal Science. …

The researchers concluded that the “one-child-policy” players were less trusting, less trustworthy, less competitive and more risk-averse than the older ones.

And on the basis of a personality test, they were also “less conscientious, more neurotic and more pessimistic,” said an author of the study, Lisa Cameron, an economist at Monash University in Australia.


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So the clueless Westerners who thought a bunch of Communist scum were just going to rescind their orders – just like that! – were WRONG? Oh Lawdy, knock me over with a feather!!!

MelonCollie on January 17, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Fast forward a few decades. Tens of millions of near-psychotic Chinese men with no prospects of landing a wife, all of them looking north to Russia where men are dying in their early 40′s and leaving behind a surplus of women. Should be good times.

Bishop on January 17, 2013 at 9:50 AM

less conscientious, more neurotic and more pessimistic

It will be that much easier to send in the first 100 million wave of soldiers if you don’t care about them reproducing and they don’t care about having a future.

LoganSix on January 17, 2013 at 9:51 AM

China has quelled speculation its controversial “one-child” policy is to be scrapped, instead announcing Wednesday that family planning laws to curb the birth rate will remain

…no wonder Islamists move West and populate!

KOOLAID2 on January 17, 2013 at 9:54 AM

When the human population is contributing to life shortening smog in Beijing, it is not a good time to be whining about the Chinese’s governments one bit of sanity in its one-child policy.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/chinese-state-media-open-up-about-beijing-smog/2013/01/16/9aadeb62-5f44-11e2-9940-6fc488f3fecd_story.html

thuja on January 17, 2013 at 9:54 AM

Less competitive and more risk adverse future leaders for China? With no hope of wedded bliss and having to support the heavy load of the massive older generation too? That might be good news for the western world.

mojowt on January 17, 2013 at 9:55 AM

And on the basis of a personality test, they were also “less conscientious, more neurotic and more pessimistic,” said an author of the study, Lisa Cameron, an economist at Monash University in Australia.

Chinese children are Democrats?

Happy Nomad on January 17, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Fast forward a few decades. Tens of millions of near-psychotic Chinese men with no prospects of landing a wife, all of them looking north to Russia where men are dying in their early 40′s and leaving behind a surplus of women. Should be good times.

Bishop on January 17, 2013 at 9:50 AM

… first gay country?

KOOLAID2 on January 17, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Bishop on January 17, 2013 at 9:50 AM

Are the Russian men really croaking that young? It’s an interesting scenario you present.

Lightswitch on January 17, 2013 at 9:57 AM

thuja on January 17, 2013 at 9:54 AM

Liberal imbecile – the absolute bare minimum for supporting a nation is two kids per family: one each to replace mom and dad when they croak.

Even IF the millions of woman-deprived men didn’t lead to armed conflict (and it probably will), the nation will suffer a social collapse like nothing the modern world has ever seen.

If the ChiComs had ANY sanity and any brains to go with it, they’d have made a two-child mandate.

MelonCollie on January 17, 2013 at 9:58 AM

Give it another 20 years.

BigGator5 on January 17, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Bishop on January 17, 2013 at 9:50 AM

LoganSix on January 17, 2013 at 9:51 AM

When a government with a history of aggression (Tibet, Russia, etc.) has an excess of restless young men with no prospects of marriage, a family, etc., they generally have two choices;

1. Ignore the problem until the young men rise up and throw them out, or

2. Hand each of them a uniform and a rifle and point them at the nearest border with another country which has something their leaders want, with appropriate patriotic slogans to spur them on their way.

Like you, I don’t expect the old men in the Forbidden City to be dumb, or suicidal, enough to take Door Number One when they already know how well Door Number Two works for them.

clear ether

eon

eon on January 17, 2013 at 10:01 AM

thuja on January 17, 2013 at 9:54 AM

Yes, because more neurosis and pessimism and distrust makes for some pretty fertile ground for a liberal political movement within China’s borders.

mojowt on January 17, 2013 at 10:02 AM

Are the Russian men really croaking that young? It’s an interesting scenario you present.

Lightswitch on January 17, 2013 at 9:57 AM

Yes they are, in droves.

The words “Lebensraum” and “Human Wave Assault” come first to mind; 1969 border clash redux.

Bishop on January 17, 2013 at 10:03 AM

But, hey, let’s keep borrowing money from them. Let’s keep building our businesses there. Let’s keep trading with them. Because, hey, our economy is the only thing we care about! Until we eliminate any economic relationship with China, the blood is on our hands as much as theirs.

Shump on January 17, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Are the Russian men really croaking that young? It’s an interesting scenario you present.

Lightswitch on January 17, 2013 at 9:57 AM

Don’t have the statistics, but Russia has a huge alcoholism problem that contributes to the early death rate.

AZfederalist on January 17, 2013 at 10:04 AM

But, hey, let’s keep borrowing money from them. Let’s keep building our businesses there. Let’s keep trading with them. Because, hey, our economy is the only thing we care about! Until we eliminate any economic relationship with China, the blood is on our hands as much as theirs.

Shump on January 17, 2013 at 10:03 AM

+100.

I can only wonder about all the people who grew up and/or fought in the Cold War, lived under the threat of Red-induced nuclear annihilation, and got shot at by Communist thugs, would like to say to the generations that thought it was so brilliant to trade American jobs for cheap Chinese plasticrap.

MelonCollie on January 17, 2013 at 10:06 AM

MelonCollie 10:06

EXACTLY.

avgjo on January 17, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Are the Russian men really croaking that young? It’s an interesting scenario you present.

Lightswitch on January 17, 2013 at 9:57 AM

The brief answer is “yes, very often”. Between poverty, job stress (or lack thereof), street violence, horrifying road conditions, and rabid consumption of low-quality alcohol the average life term expectancy of a Russian male is in the forties. Moreover, most males past forty are incapable of having a reliable erection. Couple that with the fact that Russian women in urban areas are, as a rule, very good looking and take as much care of themselves as financially possible, and you will understand why Russia is such a male repat’s paradise. And that’s why my wife was so adamantly set against me taking a job there, no matter how high-paying or career-advancing.

Archivarix on January 17, 2013 at 10:15 AM

Are the Russian men really croaking that young? It’s an interesting scenario you present.

Lightswitch on January 17, 2013 at 9:57 AM

No, in 2011 the average life expectancy for Russian men was 64 years, and it’s been rising rapidly (it was 60 years in 2006).

Jon0815 on January 17, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Fast forward a few decades. Tens of millions of near-psychotic Chinese men with no prospects of landing a wife, all of them looking north to Russia where men are dying in their early 40′s and leaving behind a surplus of women. Should be good times.

Bishop on January 17, 2013 at 9:50 AM

Best case scenario: increased number of Catholic vocations to priesthood in China.

Libraritarian on January 17, 2013 at 10:30 AM

26 million Chinese men will never find a wife within China’s borders. If that is not a recipe for disaster I don’t know what is.

Gatsu on January 17, 2013 at 10:36 AM

And, who in the heck is gong to take care of old mom and dad when they grow old? I expect that euthanasia laws will be passed.

SC.Charlie on January 17, 2013 at 10:36 AM

And, who in the heck is gong to take care of old mom and dad when they grow old? I expect that euthanasia laws will be passed.

SC.Charlie on January 17, 2013 at 10:36 AM

A small war with India will sort alllll that out…

Gatsu on January 17, 2013 at 10:53 AM

26 million Chinese men will never find a wife within China’s borders. If that is not a recipe for disaster I don’t know what is. – Gatsu on January 17, 2013 at 10:36 AM

One woman two husbands …………. or invade North Korea and steal all their women and kill all their men. Any way you look at China the future is going to be a bit bizarre.

SC.Charlie on January 17, 2013 at 10:54 AM

SC.Charlie on January 17, 2013 at 10:54 AM

No doubt there. Bizarre and bloody…

Gatsu on January 17, 2013 at 11:25 AM

IIRC, the wealthy Chinese can and are paying their way to have a second child. Not even going down the adoption route.

THIS manifestation of the wealth gap in China will cause HUGE resentment. Much more that any car or house.

Jabberwock on January 17, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Hopefully, the social upheaval they’re going to be in for a generation from now when hordes of young men without a female partner are trying to take care of a bunch of elderly relatives will not spill over its borders. Beyond this, I’m moderately comforted that China’s demographic time bomb will ultimately keep it from being a long term threat to the US. An aging, poor populace is not likely to take over Superpower status and keep it.

Jill1066 on January 17, 2013 at 11:30 AM

trade goods not bombs

That of course does not mean borrow endless monies though.

LaughterJones on January 17, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Which in turn means that the many sex-selective abortions leading to a wild gender disparity and the obvious demographic problems of a tiny younger generation supporting a relatively huge aging one, are going to go unsolved.

One would think that if there is such a “wild gender disparity” (too many young men, not enough young women) in China, a clear-thinking Chinese couple would be DELIGHTED to have a daughter–when she turns 18 or 20 or so, young men will be standing in line to marry her, and her parents could sell her to the highest bidder!

Steve Z on January 17, 2013 at 11:51 AM

When the human population is contributing to life shortening smog in Beijing, it is not a good time to be whining about the Chinese’s governments one bit of sanity in its one-child policy.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/chinese-state-media-open-up-about-beijing-smog/2013/01/16/9aadeb62-5f44-11e2-9940-6fc488f3fecd_story.html

thuja on January 17, 2013 at 9:54 AM

Are you an only child? Either of your parents?

KGB on January 17, 2013 at 11:55 AM

The One Child policy is just part of their overall eugenics strategy.

One Child was intended to create some headroom, so to speak, for One Child Phase II, which is the policy now that allows a couple to have a second child by paying a fine. Or, the preferred way, to pre-pay the fine by paying a kind of tax.

Who can afford the tax? Successful people.

Who’s successful? Smart people.

See where this is going? Always remember that the Chinese try to plan “over the horizon” — think in terms of generations. Their interest in US Genome sequencing companies? To give the Pachinko machine of Mendelian inheritance a big shove… if they manage to start seeing an IQ increase of 5-15 points a generation in even a small subset of their population, it’s Game Over.

But the population at large keeps aborting girls, the Chinese will be so awash in Testosterone that they’re going to have internal problems much larger than their external problems.

monkeyboy on January 17, 2013 at 11:56 AM

IIRC, the wealthy Chinese can and are paying their way to have a second child. Not even going down the adoption route.

THIS manifestation of the wealth gap in China will cause HUGE resentment. Much more that any car or house.

Jabberwock on January 17, 2013 at 11:30 AM

There are a number of work-arounds in practice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=5gYRzIfWxrc

DarkCurrent on January 17, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Beyond this, I’m moderately comforted that China’s demographic time bomb will ultimately keep it from being a long term threat to the US. An aging, poor populace is not likely to take over Superpower status and keep it.

Jill1066 on January 17, 2013 at 11:30 AM

China will be the most powerful nation on earth by the middle of the century. Better get used to the idea.

DarkCurrent on January 17, 2013 at 12:10 PM

The only thing going in America’s favor right now is all of our potential and current rivals are finding ways to screw themselves as well.

This is why we still have a chance to save this nation IF we can get through the next four years without Obama completing his “transformation”.

China will be the most powerful nation on earth by the middle of the century. Better get used to the idea.

DarkCurrent on January 17, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Doubt that. They have too many internal problems, and too many enemies that surround them. Their current government set up is a limiting one as well. It will never be able to take them to the places they want to go. By the middle of the century they will either be divided by civil war, in complete stagnation, or drained by fighting major wars with all their neighbors.

A sort of WWI for Asia.

William Eaton on January 17, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Doubt that. They have too many internal problems, and too many enemies that surround them. Their current government set up is a limiting one as well. It will never be able to take them to the places they want to go. By the middle of the century they will either be divided by civil war, in complete stagnation, or drained by fighting major wars with all their neighbors.

A sort of WWI for Asia.

William Eaton on January 17, 2013 at 12:46 PM

As it’s going the US isn’t likely to be around as a superpower by then. There may be civil war at some point. Notice I didn’t say the “PRC”, I said “China”.

We shall see.

DarkCurrent on January 17, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Ever wonder why China finds oil/mineral resources from all around the world except within it’s own borders? How powerful will they be when they are the only bearers of natural resources on the planet? That power and neurotic men controlling it. Niiiice.

mojowt on January 17, 2013 at 2:55 PM

China will be the most powerful nation on earth by the middle of the century. Better get used to the idea.

DarkCurrent on January 17, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Not unless they revoke their 1-kid act, or provide enough sneaky workarounds for it.

About the only thing short of multiple large-scale wars that could stop China now is their idiotic attempt at population control. Their worst enemy is themselves.

MelonCollie on January 17, 2013 at 6:39 PM

Not unless they revoke their 1-kid act, or provide enough sneaky workarounds for it.

MelonCollie on January 17, 2013 at 6:39 PM

The so-called one child policy will likely be gone within 5 years, certainly within 10.

DarkCurrent on January 17, 2013 at 7:51 PM

How has China continued to have positive population growth with a one-child policy? Is it because of the number of waivers (for farmers, etc.)?

Serious question.

blink on January 17, 2013 at 1:49 PM

That, plus many people who simply violate the law.

DarkCurrent on January 17, 2013 at 7:53 PM

LaughterJones 11:33 am

Yeah, between their cyberattacks on our military and intelligence installations, and their threats of nuclear war over Taiwan, all we’re doing is giving them the money and technology to, as one of their military officials told some of our delegates a couple of years ago, give us a ‘black eye’.

We’re giving them the rope to hang us with. So we can buy cheap junk and enrich a few well-connected people. What’s that foreigners say about stupid Americans…?

avgjo on January 17, 2013 at 9:12 PM

blink 1:49

I heard that their birthrate is 30 percent below the replacement rate.

I dunno.

avgjo on January 17, 2013 at 9:17 PM

I heard that their birthrate is 30 percent below the replacement rate.

I dunno.

avgjo on January 17, 2013 at 9:17 PM

And yet the population of China is growing by about 10 million per year. Go figure.

DarkCurrent on January 18, 2013 at 9:53 AM