The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
Chinese Fed Up with One-Child Policy

case of forced abortion—not uncommon but here documented in rare detail—is breathing new life into the smoldering resentment of China’s one-child policy, the Economist reports:

Even three years ago, Ms Feng’s suffering might have gone unnoticed outside the remote village in the north-western province of Shaanxi where she lives—just another statistic in China’s family-planning programme. But her relatives uploaded the graphic pictures onto the internet, and soon microblogs had flashed them to millions of people across the country. Chinese citizens expressed their outrage online. It is not just the treatment of Ms Feng that they deplore. It is the one-child policy itself.

Prominent voices joined in the criticism. “The outrageous and violent forced- abortion incident in June is not unique to Shaanxi”, wrote Liang Jianzhang, on Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter. Mr Liang is chief executive of Ctrip, one of China’s most successful travel companies. “Abolition of the absurd family-planning policy is the only way to root out this kind of evil,” he went on. Mr Liang’s post has been retweeted more than 18,000 times.

Social media has revolutionized the way information is disseminated across China’s increasingly tech-savvy population. It is becoming harder and harder for the government to hide its dirty laundry.

This incident also serves to reinforce what has been known in China for quite some time: that the “One-Child” policy is an outdated relic of the Maoist era. Its original rationale was to prevent out-of-control population growth that would impoverish the nation. Far from being impoverished, however, the Chinese citizen of today has a far higher income than ever before, further contributing to an already rising national GDP. Extra children are no longer an economic liability, they are important indicator of continued growth, especially among the poor, rural families that cannot afford to pay the fine for multiple births.

As Bob Dylan would say, “the times they are a-changin.’”

Published on June 26, 2012 2:30 pm
  • http://inthisdimension.com alex scipio

    China will be down about 40MM women by 2020…. Historically this kind of mismatch always results in war… be interesting to watch.

    There are millions of women in nearby countries being treated as slaves and lower than dogs. China could go and get them, and whack the primary enemy of China’s markets at the same time. Kind of a twofer. It’s part of this: http://premiere.fastpencil.com/china-rising

  • a nissen

    No need to be so smug. Robert Zubrin is most lucid when he records the West’s longstanding interest and concerted actions to rid the world of lesser humans— its poor, with no end in sight.

  • Pincher Martin

    “This incident also serves to reinforce what has been known in China for quite some time: that the “One-Child” policy is an outdated relic of the Maoist era.”

    China’s extreme family planning policy is not “an outdated relic of the Maoist era”, but a feature of Deng’s initial modernization program that could only be implemented after Mao passed from the scene.

    Mao thought population growth helped China, and so he encouraged it. Only after Deng took over, were China’s modernists, some of whom were strongly influenced by pseudoscientific ideas current in the West, able to enforce such a rigid family planning program.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/suhrmesa Suhr Mesa

    The Chinese elite have strived to create a society void of spiritual meaning. This is against human nature and will always fail. See Soviet and German history for more examples.

    What is amazing is how the left still strives for these same goals… turning everything over to the fair and just state, requiring the removal of God from the public square.

  • Stephen Houghton

    a nissen writes “No need to be so smug. Robert Zubrin is most lucid when he records the West’s longstanding interest and concerted actions to rid the world of lesser humans— its poor, with no end in sight.”

    All the facts show this to be nonsense. The fact is that over the past 300 years as capitalism has developed, 100s of millions of people who would have died in pre-capitalist times have been able to live and lead productive and interesting lives.

  • a nissen

    @5 Sorry, there being no way to correct a post, I had to live with “lesser humans —the poor.” The more accurate phrasing would have been “—the less ‘advanced’ and the poor.” Not all of the ‘less advanced’ were poor.

    The facts that matter are far more than the singe fact that the sheer number of people who have lived and live now has increased exponentially since “pre-capitlaist times.” Zubrin’s issue is with the decision-makers deciding who should procreate and live, and who is expendable.

    While not integral with capitalism, hand-in-hand has come the notion that this “uncontrolled” increase is numbers of people is a very bad thing—but like who should resort to transit, the other guy is the one who should pay the price.

    When the number of people practicing what they preach is deemed inadequate, capitalism has resorted to anti-human activities like hiring Planned Parenthood to undertake massive and brutal tricks in ‘less advanced’ places.

    On a much more mundane scale, one thing long known is when the conviction is great, the most effective route is force: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2012/06/what-really-matters-increasing-transit-ridership-rail-edition/2218/