The True History of China’s Disastrous One-Child Policy

Reform Is Too Little, Too Late

A preschool student looks up as other children take an afternoon nap in a classroom of a school for children of migrant workers in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, January 10, 2013. William Hong / Reuters

On October 29, 2015, the Chinese Communist Party announced that all couples will now be allowed to have two children, thus ending the 35-year enforcement of that nation’s one-child policy. In response, some have suggested that although fertility in China is now so low that a one-child policy is no longer needed or desirable, it was perhaps justified when it was launched in 1980. At the time, so the argument goes, former Chairman Mao Zedong’s long-term opposition to birth control had produced runaway population growth that threatened to impoverish the nation and undermine party rule. And however coercive the one-child policy was, many believe that it succeeded in preventing roughly 400 million births, thus benefiting China and the entire world, as The Washington Post observed in its October 31 editorial praising the ending of the policy. The facts say otherwise.

It is true that Mao is on record claiming on multiple occasions that

Loading, please wait...

To read the full article

Most Read Articles

Related Articles

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.