Two-Child Policy?

By , 2015年10月30日 7:06 上午

Yesterday, China announced that the country would ease family planning restrictions to allow all couples to have two children after decades of a strict one-child policy. For many people in China, this was seen as a significant improvement in domestic affairs because “the government was giving the people more rights”.

My mother gave birth to three children in 1974, 1976 and 1978 respectively. In 1979, the one-child policy was introduced and enforced. Because my mother violated the one-child policy before the policy was introduced she was severely punished. I can not remember exactly in which year but it was probably in 1984 that my mother was forced to have a sterilization operation and became permanently “immune” to pregnancy. Around the same period, this happened to tens of millions of other women in China. As a child, I witnessed many people who desperately wanted a second child, who attempted each and every way to escape the obsession and prosecution from the government during pregnancy, who lost their lives when being forced to have an abortion when the fetus was already too big for an abortion, and who lost their jobs and financially punished when they had a second child.

My wife and I had our first daughter in 2004. In late 2009 we relocated from Beijing to Hainan, and both of us accepted the offer to become teachers in a local vocational colleague. It was at that time that my wife became pregnant with our second daughter. We made this known to the colleague, and both of our offers were cancelled immediately. We stayed in a small quiet village during this period, and gave birth to our second daughter in a hospital 80 kilometers away from the village in 2010. Out of the fear of the sterilization operation on my wife, the second daughter did not received immunization until she was 2 years old (when we found a community clinic that was willing to help privately), and she did not have an identity until she was 3 years old (when we paid a fine to the local government to obtain a citizen identity card for her, which allowed her to apply for a passport). In 2014, my family relocated from China to Australia, where both of our daughters can receive education and medical services without any fines or other troubles.

We have many friends with similar situations. It is hard to believe that every year tens of thousands of people travel from mainland China to Hong Kong, Canada, the United States, Australia, or some other countries, just to give birth to a second child. Even so, people are still under the risk of losing their jobs if they work for state-owned organizations such as schools, hospitals, government agencies, etc. I have two friends who were classmates in university, and they work for the same university after graduation. Both of them got their second child several years ago, but none of them were courageous enough to share this good news with their friends. When being seen with both children, they have to tell people that the other child belongs to another family member, otherwise their jobs might be at risk. In China, having a second child is a top privacy and the best-kept secret unless you are very rich or you are a person of unusual authority.

I can’t help but keep on thinking why we in China have to live in fear and despair. Are we not human beings that are born with the right and ability to fall in love, have sex, become pregnant, and give birth? How can a government take away such basic human rights from the people, prosecute those who practice their rights, and argue that the one-child policy is for the well being of the whole society? During the past 25 years, approximately 200 to 300 million people were “reduced” from this planet. Today, the one-child policy is changed to the new two-child policy, and many people applaud and see this as “the government is giving more rights to the people”. However, this new two-child policy is just as evil as the old one-child policy in that it emphasizes that the government – not the couple – has the right to decide whether to get pregnant and give birth. Considering the fact that the two-child policy was made because the country needs more “human resources”, will couples with no child or only one child be prosecuted in the same way as couples with two children in the one-child era?

2 Responses to “Two-Child Policy?”

  1. pizzamx说道:


  2. Sin-Yaw说道:

    How to balance the individual rights against the welfare of the society? Is that an obligation to be patriotic? If left to the choices of each family, China *might* have suffered famine which would have killed more people than what were lost during the brutal ‘1-child policy’ years. But we would never know, since history do not have a replay button.

    I agree that China had an inhumane and brutal enforcement that was horrible to witness, let alone experience. But I also agree that, at that time, China needed an effective way to control population growth.

    I am glad that you had two kids: your genes are way worth propagating.

    And they are just too cute…

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