Wednesday, October 26, 2011

CHINA'S ONE-CHILD RULE TURNS INTO A TIME BOMB - 26th Oct 2011

Reader Contribution;

China's one-child policy has prevented almost half a billion births but has turned into a demographic time bomb as the population ages, storing up huge economic and social problems for the country.

As the world's population hits the seven billion mark, straining the earth's resources, China can claim to have curbed its birth rate to around 1.5 children per woman since the policy was introduced in 1979.

Without the birth limits, which no other country applies as rigorously or on such a scale, the world's most populous nation would have hundreds of millions more mouths to feed than the 1.34 billion it has now.

But from modern cities to remote villages, its implementation has involved abuses from mass sterilisation to abortions as late as eight months into the pregnancy. Baby girls have also been abandoned and killed.

Couples who defy the rule can face fines amounting to several years' salary, have access to social services cut and even go to prison. Their so-called "black children" have no legal status in China.

Ethnic minorities and farmers whose first child is a girl are exempt from the restriction and in some areas, couples where both parents are only children are also allowed to have a second baby. Read More