China abolishes one-child policy, but is it too late for China?

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[April Wilson | Contributing Writer]

On 29th October 2015, China abolished its infamous one-child policy in favour of a new two-child policy in order to increase the birth rate. This is in order to ease the struggle with its ageing population that today stands at 12 per cent of the population.

However, there are many who fear that this new policy will not be enough to rectify the problems caused by the one-child policy. This is because the primary problem at the heart of the policy has not been addressed, the unbalanced population in terms of gender. In a census taken in 2010 in China, there were 118 boys to 100 girls, which is far above the average sex difference of 105 boys to 100 girls.

China then needs to realise that with not enough girls being born, there is and will continue to be less marriages taking place, and consequently less children. This means the younger population will continue to die out, putting more and more of a strain on the young population that is left to take care of the ageing population that continues to grow.

Chinese women then need to be elevated in Chinese society; they need to have value and respect. They need to be desired, and not as a sexual object, which has become a problem as more of China’s male population becomes frustrated that they will never find a wife, according to Steve Tsang:

“We are talking about between 20 million and 30 million young men who are not going to be able to find a wife. That creates social problems and that creates a huge number of people who are frustrated”.

This has therefore caused China to experience a spike in sex trafficking and bride buying.

Mei Fong, author of One Child: The Past And Future Of China’s Most Radical Experiment talks about how “there are basically too many horny, young men in China with no brides”.

This is a lighthearted way of saying it but what she says is the truth, the problem lies in women only being valued for being wives.

So while some see this change of policy as representing a change towards more freedom for the Chinese people; for some it isn’t enough. The call is still out there for more freedom. As long as the family unit is still state-planned and a woman’s reproductive system still a product of the state, China will not be free from the stigma of women being worthless and so, will just further go into decline.


China abolishes one-child policy, but is it too late for China?