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Chinas One-Child PolicyOne of the main problems facing China in recent years is overpopulation. TheChinese governmentneeded to make policies to combat the quickly growing numbers of Chinesecitizens. In 1979 theFamily Planning Commission of China implemented the One-Child Policy as asolution. The One-Child Policy states that parents in urban settings are limited to having only onechild. Parents in ruralareas are allowed two children provided the first is a girl. Boys are highlyvalued in Chinese culture,and this value especially applies to more rural areas.The government enforces this regulation by penalizing families that have morechildren. Parentswith over quota children are fined for each additional birth. Their taxes areraised and they no longerreceive free health care. Parents who comply with the One-Child Policy receivemoney from thegovernment in addition to their free healthcare.Adults in Chinese society worried that having so many only children wouldcause a new generation ofspoiled and selfish children. Chinese parents as well as the Chinese governmentfeared the 4-2-1syndrome. The 4-2-1 syndrome is the idea of having four Grandparents, andtwo parents all focusingtheir attention on one child. However, Chinese culture stresses the values ofself-discipline, control,conformity, and working towards the common cause. These values do notsupport or condone cateringto children and parents were actually not likely to spoil their children. Thegovernment also set upnumerous early education programs to help avoid the spoiled child syndrome.Children attend nurseryschool and day-care programs from a very early age. These programs enforceworking together and donot individually spoil the children.
The One-Child Policy dramatically reduced the number of births in China.Chinese families weretraditionally large. The current rate of births is down to 1.8 children perwoman. However, there arestill many over-quota births especially in rural areas. Families that cannotafford the fines sometimesfeel social and financial pressure to abandon the child. Abandonment is apunishable crime,but most are overlooked and go unpunished. Many Chinese children end upin orphanages or areadopted either within China or by families overseas.http://homeport.tcs.tulane.edu/~rouxbee/kids99/china1.html