“Where have all the children gone?” This was one of the first questions I ask when I was in China. That’s when I became fully aware of the China One Child Policy. This policy was put into effect about 1979 under the leadership of Chairman Deng Xiaoping… who was also in control during the Tiananmen Square massacre.
The consequences of this policy has had detrimental effects on the society and will continue to be a problem for the citizens of China. The government of China has just announced that the One Child Policy will continue for another 10 years.
1. The picture that emerges is that some urban Chinese make the choice to perform gender selection with the first pregnancy, since they are allowed only one child. In rural areas, most couples are permitted to have a second child, especially if the first is female. So, if the second child is female, the pregnancy or child, often “disappears,” allowing the couple to have another child in an attempt to have a son. Millions of little Chinese girls have gone missing – on purpose.
If you have more than your allotted share of children, penalties are imposed. In many areas, only one child can be educated. If a second child is born… it’s considered an illegal child and cannot receive an education. If a couple will sign a One Child Only Document, they receive extra benefits such as better jobs, bonuses, better housing, and more vacation time.
This little gal was the daughter of Professor Tao’s assistant. He was so delighted with this child, he took her everywhere with us as we traveled from one factory to another. This child was one of the fortunate girls who has been spared.
2. The absence of young marriageable women is very apparent. Men 30 years old and younger are abundant at train stations, parks and other public places. In comparison, very few women are in site. This sad situation has left some men unable to marry and have a family. The inadequate supply of females has resulted in kidnapping and trafficking of women for marriage and has increased arranged marriages of children by parents who want future mates for their kids.
The Chinese people love their children… or should I say child… and they dote over them constantly. It was sad to learn how many school children were killed in the recent china earthquake. So many parents are now left childless.
One evening, a factory took us to a restaurant for dinner. A great celebration was in progress and everyone was excited. Someone had left a newborn baby girl on the door step of the restaurant…. asking the owner, who was a single man, to take child and raise her as his own. The gentleman was ecstatic. He had not married…. but now had the opportunity to have a child of his own.
My son, Wade, pointed out an interesting observation. Many of the ads during the China Olympics featured Chinese girls. “Who are they kidding,” he said…. “They don’t even like girls.”
All is not well in China. Behind the scenes of the China Olympics…human rights abuses continue. We cannot afford to be fooled by all the glitz and glamour.
P.S. 90% of all children who are adopted by U.S. parents are girls.