Friday, March 19, 2010

Overpopulation of China Essay

Essay on Overpopulation of China

Over the years, China’s population has grown and grown to the point to where it is a major nationwide crisis. The Chinese government has formed many possible solutions to try and help this country's population from growing larger and larger in population, but there has still yet to be a solution. (Yahoo News, 3) This is an extremely hard situation to overcome by just snapping one’s fingers. In the Chinese beliefs, large families are a key part of the traditional Chinese culture.

Therefore, this predicament calls for more than the government just telling the Chinese citizens to only have one child. (Carnell, 2). Large families were much desired in traditional China. Because many children died before maturity, many were wanted. Some were needed to work on the land to provide old-age security for their parents, to carry on ancestral rites, and to perpetuate the family name. (Seybolt, 209) In Western Europe, as population increased, countries had changed the methods of farming, started new industries, built more factories; so therefore, citizens found new livelihoods. (Mitchison, 23) In 1998, the population growth rate was point eighty-three percent, and the life expectancy for the Chinese was averaged around 69.59 years. (Yahoo News, 2) By February 15, 1995, China’s population had reached 1.2 billion people. Averaging the past few years, the annual birth rates have averaged about 21 million births, with a net increase of 14 million. (Yahoo News, p.1) "The plans for agriculture, industry, education, health, housing, and employment are all influenced by population size and population estimates for the future." (Seybolt, 209) In the country of China, an often-said phrase is: "Too many people, not enough land." (Mitchison, 23) This saying does indeed fit this specific nation with billions of citizens. "To be fat in the nineteenth-century China became a desirable sign of wealth because most Chinese did not have enough to eat. The foreign wars and indemnities were only one cause of this population’s poverty." (Mitchison, 23).

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The efforts of the Chinese government to lower the population or at least the birth rate have been well worth a try. (Seybolt, p.209) Family planning clinics offering contraceptives, including abortions, have spread throughout the countryside in recent years, and the government has used every publicity technique at its disposal to encourage couples to marry at a later age, therefore reducing the number of their childbearing years. (Seybolt, p.209) This country of China is by far the most populated country in the world. In 1970, China had over three times as many people as the Soviet Union and nearly four times as many people as the United States. (Mitchison, 7) In 1970, the population was at 750,000,000 people and four years ago the population rose to almost twice as much as it was twenty-five years before. (Mitchison, 7) The marriage law, propagated by the Central People’s Government, has twelve articles that should be followed when married. (Wang, 6) Some of the main important ones include; "Husband and wife are companions and shall enjoy equal status in the home." (Wang, 6) "Both husband and wife shall have the right to free choice of occupation and free participation in work or in social activities." (Wang, 6) "Both husband and wife shall have equal right in the possession and management of family property." (Wang, 6) As you can see, there were many rules when being married to one another. "Extol one, praise two, criticize three, and dispose four." (Wang, 4) Slogans, posters, and mass educational theories like this have been a vital part of Chinese birth control activity. No sooner is a birth control campaign decided upon than propaganda work begins on a big scale.

Birth control has been one of the many efforts from the Chinese government. Another valiant effort by the government was the one-child policy. (Carnell, 2) Since the introduction of the one-child policy in 1979, there has been no big drop in fertility and in fact China experienced a slight increase fluctuating around 21 births per 1000 people in the 1980’s. (Carnell, 1) The families that chose to have many children definitely paid the price. There were consequences that the families had to deal with especially the daughters. These daughters were forced into prostitution to put food on the table at night. (Lei, 1) Daughters were not considered as important as sons were because the daughters married into other families when they were of age, but even so, they could bring power and prestige to the family and clan through marriage. (Seybolt, 210) The daughters that were forced into prostitution were in families that were not financially well. (Lei, 2) As children, these daughters were not able to receive an education, therefore when the time came for them to be on their own; they had nowhere else to go except prostitution. (Lei, 5) Prostitution is usually motivated by fulfillment of needs for money and material things. (Lei, 4) A major consequence to most of the children in large families was that the children would often be neglected, abandoned, or put in an orphanage. The only problem was that these children were not the ones at fault. (Carnell, 1) The abandonment of children surged in China during 1980’s, partly due to the one-child population control policy and in part due to policies restricting adoption by Chinese couples who are not childless. (Yahoo News, 2) The given solutions of the Chinese are obviously not in full effect because there has yet to be a major change or drop in the birth rate. The Chinese citizens need to realize the severity of this problem as well as the rest of the world. China has more than enough room in their country, so why don’t they use it? Chinese citizens are packed into the cities when the society needs to be spreading out across the country.

As a solution, why not let the Chinese populace know what is eventually going to happen if they are not careful of how many children families have. The United States depends on their citizens using birth control or protection. This is not because the USA is overpopulated, it is because the people of the USA want to provide for their children, and put food on the table for them, and doing this not by prostitution, but by getting a legitimate job and sticking with it. No, not all Americans are like that, but the majority of them are. Although the Chinese may be more prevalent than the Untied States when it comes to using birth control, the United States isn't overpopulated. Even though China's population can keep growing larger and larger, the country's boundaries cannot expand.

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