Implications of change for the future of China due to One Child Policy

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Implications of change for the future of China due to one child policy

The One Child Policy has been successful in preventing an impending population explosion which may well have resulted in mass famine as the limited natural resources were quickly used up by the bourgeoning population. However, it has also resulted in a number of issues which will undoubtedly have great impact on the future of Chinese society.

Due to continuity of the traditional cultural attitude that males are superior to females, there have been widespread issues in China in regards to female infanticide and abandoned children, resulting in a significant gender imbalance. In many communities, men outnumber women 12:10. Many men have now given up hope of ever finding a wife. In a country where the family has always been extremely highly valued, this issue is highly troublesome for Chinese men. This is likely to result in the migration of many men to other countries in search of a wife. If this is a mass migration, and many of the men do not return, China’s economy may see drastic changes.

The one-child generation is now reaching adulthood, and signs of a changing society are already to be seen. The single child generation are characterised by juvenile delinquency, spoilt upbringings, and significant western influences, particularly in terms of attitudes and values. The one-child generation currently earns more than their parents, due to the further industrialisation of China and the advances seen in education (most parents now send their “little darlings” to private schools, and many send their children overseas for higher education). This generation is also far more independent of power structures, and far less likely than previous generations to unquestioningly obey those in authority, resulting in political instability. It may even result in democracy – as one journalist noted, “if you have a generation of ‘little emperors’ you can’t have any little slaves – you’ll have democracy”. With each individual in this generation determined to do exactly what they want, and wanting to tell everyone else what to do, this idea is certainly not far-fetched.


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