Help - Search - Calendar
Full Version: Guangxi One-Child Policy Enforced
Travel Forum - TravelPod > > China
I've heard about the one-child policy in China, but don't know much about it or where the policy is enforced and where it isn't. Not sure if it's a few places in China or many?

I just read a news article about the one-child policy being (brutally) enforced in Guangxi province. Towns and villages were raided and dozens of women were forced to have abortions. If that isn't enough, the sledgehammer-carrying army confiscated livestock, stole money and trashed locals homes.

This is tough for me to absorb, especially as a woman. I know that human rights violations are not uncommon in China. Can anyway give a bit of history behind the one-child policy?

Here's the article.

Thoughts guys?
China's population is huge and on the surface the one child policy seemed a sensible way of slowing down what was a huge population growth rate. In the past kids were to some extent a parent's security in old age, and so the more the better. China couldn't have continued to feed and educate and take care of its population if each couple kept having 2 or 3 or more kids. So 1 child policy makes some sense.

But in reality we often hear reports that it is ethnic minority groups that are forced to abide by the rules. Perhaps it is Tibetans being forced to have abortions (despite their strong Buddhist belief in no killing a living creature) or ... The rich in China now seem to be able to get around the rules and funnily enough the rich are generally the Han Chinese and the supporters of the regime.

Thoughts - not too many - if I think too much about it I will be very sad. China has got some massive issues it needs to deal with. Much of them relate to the extreme greed the Chinese seem to have and the others seem to relate to the inbred belief that the Han Chinese are racially superior and that all races that originated in what is now China are "Chinese" and to be controlled by the Han.

Shame as China also has a huge amount to offer.

Perhaps I am wrong or have mis-read China to some extent. I hope so. But that is the feeling I get.
It's not Tibetans in this case but a town in Guangxi province near the Vietnam border. As far as I'm aware people are allowed to have 1 child in the big cities and 2 if they live in a rural area. China maybe a large country but the amount of people is getting too much so they had to do something about it.

Problem is that as more people are getting richer they are able to pay the fines to have more children. I can't see how they can change this.

India's going to have more people in a smaller area soon so what will they do about it?
This topic is a sad one. What would alternatives be to keep populations down? Education, birth control.....It just seems that forcing people to abort their unborn children is so terrible it's almost incomprehendable. I'm going to presume there's no birth control offered to these Chinese?

The gap and 'rights' between rich and poor are so huge and it pains me to know that b/c some have more money, they have more rights, or pay for more rights anyway. What world...
Hmmm, it is an interesting problem. Really there are too many people in the world (in my opinion). Not just in China and India. As said, on the surface the Chinese policy seems to make some sense, but I, as already demonstrated, have a distrust of the intentions of the Chinese government. Maybe / hopefully I am wrong.

Hmmm, but either way, smashing into homes with sledgehammers and forcing abortions on people seems a pretty rough way of taking care of your people. I am assuming here that a government's role is to take care of the people.

I also accept that it is not my place to tell China how to do its job. But I hope as other countries start facing the same population problems, they develop better solutions. The policy itself is not the problem, but the way it is enforced. WOW!

(Hmmm, I notice in Western countries and Singapore they have solved this problem as people are just too busy and too stressed to get married or to have kids.)
Just looking up info on Guangxi province. Hmmm, it seems it has a high proportion of ethnic minority races. Coincidence? Maybe.

Hmmm, I really don't reckon, if I was a government ruling over a large land of diverse peoples, I would try to control these peoples by smashing in their doors and forcing abortions on them. I reckon I might try giving them stuff, educating them, helping them, showing them I was their friend and there to be of benefit to them.

I am sure China has done this to a large extent, but the story also shows a pretty bad side and that the people (or some of them) in that area are clearly not too impressed.

Anyway, enough. I don't know enough about China to criticize as much as I have. Sorry. Happy for people to point out some good stuff also. I saw that the Chinese seem to be going ahead with lots of solar energy projects and other good environmental stuff. So I will leave my comments on that positive note
G'Day Mate,

I only know a little about the one child policy here in China. I lived in a tiny farming town in Guangxi for one and a half years. A direct answer was difficult to get. Everyone seems to give a different answer so I don't think I can give the CORRECT answer. BUT...

As far as I know Minority Peoples in some provinces can have unlimited amount of children. Guangxi being over 70% minority I think maybe this rule doesn't apply as it does in Yunnan with the Dai Peoples.

I do know that farmers, if they have a female first can legally have a second try for a male baby. From what I have seen the one child policy is very strict in cities but in rural China as the article states, the rules are relaxed and then for no reason they are enforced. I have no answer for the enforcement.

In all schools and towns I have lived and taught in so far I have had many students who have REAL sisiters or brothers. Most of the time when they say they have a brother or sister this really means a very close friend who will remain close as they get older.

So my real only answer is that farmers can have up to two children 'if they have a female first' and that some Minority Peoples can have many. Like I said, Guangxi is over 70% Minority so maybe it doesn't apply there. It is one of if not the poorest province in China so an increase in population would cause a lot of hardship on small rural towns and villages where there is no money to go around. This doesn't mean I agree with the enforcement as 'things happen' and women fall pregnant by mistake or the fact is...there are so many villages that I guess most of the time people would think that no one would notice.

I spent most of my time riding through these villages each day and on weekends. I have many friends who come from villages and even had a girlfriend for along time who was from a village. They really are poor as in dirt floors and chickens living inside with a pig next to the kitchen.

My views on the one child policy remain as they have for some time. I have one foot on either side of the line. Here in China you have 400 million people above the poverty line who live mainly on the coast and then you have 900 million people who live well below the poverty line.

It really is a difficult question to answer but after living here for two and a half years and travelling all over the place and living in many provinces I don't think an increase in population would be good for a country with 1.4 billion people in it. Remember nearly half of China is actually a desert just like in Australia.

Mate I hope this may answer some of your question or questions.
A billion Beers and Noodles to you from south east China...shane (Fujian Province)
Mate I hope this may answer some of your question or questions.
A billion Beers and Noodles to you from south east China...shane (Fujian Province)

Thanks Shane. Yup, it does make things a little more clear. It doesn't seem like an easily-explainable thing anyway so thanks dude. I know that huge and poverty stricken populations have alot to contend with, with very few, if any resources. It's almost like sterilizing someone would be better then forcing them to abort their babies. I know, that's sounds horrible, and it is......
Excellent - thanks for that answer - nice to have an answer from someone who knows a bit more about what they are talking about instead of my perceptions based on very limited experience in China.

Sounds a bit like it was a case of someone made a ruling/statement somewhere and so some over zealous and under educated enforcement people decided to carry it out and maybe try to make a name for themselves. Certainly the Border Patrol Police here in Thailand when dealing with the Hill tribes can sometimes be guilty of enforcing central Thailand based rules in a culturally insensitive way. Or applying Sydney / ACT based rules to remote aboriginal communities in Australia is also often done in a way that shows enforcement people have absolutely no understanding of the culture and people they are dealing with. So it is unfair to single out China.

To some extent, although horrible in this case, I think when ruling over such a vast area these things happen. Lower officials take the wording of a rule over common sense and the spirit of the rule.

Hmmm, your statement also reminds me that I want to explore China more. There is so much to see and learn there.

Your life sounds very interesting. Good on ya.
Glad I could help in some way.

From reading it has pretty much been the same way through out Chinas history. Like you said, the lower officials want to impress and take any order much too serious. Very much the same in Japan etc.

Life is very interesting here. It is a beautiful thing and there is too much to explore so I have no intention on returning home for many years. Summer break in several weeks and hopefully it will be long haul from the east coast where I am now, by train AAAAALLLLLL the way west to Kashgar.

Long and hot but I love train journeys so it'll be nearly as long as the Trans Siberian journey I took seven years ago. Fun fun fun! Hopefully you'll make it to China for an adventure of your own soon mate.

Class calls & students at the door. Beers and noodles to everyone...shane
Hmmm, your statement also reminds me that I want to explore China more. There is so much to see and learn there.

Your life sounds very interesting. Good on ya.

Me too Paul, I would love to explore China.

Off topic for a sec, but Paul, you also lead a very interesting life and are doing great things. You guys are on the 'personal hero' list that's been compiling in my head since I've joined this site. I really admire what you're both doing. Good on ya both.
I am not the messiah - I am just a very naughty boy
It'll be interesting to hear your views on Xinjiang province. I was listening to a Chinese Podcast the other week and there seems a lot of prejudice against people from that province, mainly to do with the fact people perceive them as thieves. But then again they are a minority.....
Rbisset - Tell us more. I have no opinion on the matter. Know nothing about it.

Thanks for your nice comments wakingdream.

Thanks for all your interesting comments Shane.
Rbisset - Tell us more. I have no opinion on the matter. Know nothing about

Rich, please do tell us more....I don't know much either.
I'll try and dig up the mp3 later and post a link.
MP3 Linky (14.7mb)

Here's the link. It's a pretty long show and the discussion on Xinjiang is right at the end.

ps. I do like Colleens Canadian accent, especially how she says aboot lol wub.gif

I am not the messiah - I am just a very naughty boy

I don't know the naughty part Paul, but you are surely a very nice person, and I too much admire the work you and your wife are doing in Asia, along with wakingdream.
Mizliz - thanks. Hmmm, don't know what else to say or do. Getting praised is unusual for me and makes me uncomfortable, but better than being abused.

Rich - must apologize. Flat out at the moment and haven't had a chance to look at the link.

The whole previous discussion about China has made me re-assess my thoughts on China though. Without doubt China does some crappy things. The invasion of Tibet and the continual religious oppression there, the oppression of the Falun Gong movement (which to an outsider seems totally unnecessary - but maybe I'm wrong), the invasion of Vietnam, the damming of the Mekong, the whole silliness under Mao when China seems to have lost so much of its past culture and way of life.

But China is not alone in the world as far as doing crappy things. A few examples that spring to mind:
USA - invasion of Vietnam, invasion of Iraq, huge environmental destruction of the planet and refusal to stop, massive arms dealer, continual support to Isreali crimes, ridiculous economic theories that have lead to massive unhappiness.
Australia - invasion of Vietnam, treatment of aboriginals, treatment of refugees, environmental destruction and refusal to act to stop it, use of racism as a means of getting political points
Indonesia - invasion of East Timor and Irian Jaya.
Burma - rape, torture and forced labour on hill tribe minority people
France - eating of snails and frogs and refusal to speak English.


Although China isn't perfect, the rest of the world isn't perfect either. China is a huge country with lots of different people living in it and it is poor. The job of looking after China must be a tough one. Much tougher than looking after 20 million Australians, or 6 million Laotians, and yet both the Laos and Australian governments are crap.

So what I am saying is that although I will continue to personally disagree with some of the things China does, I will also remember to recognise that China, along with USA, Australia, Thailand and every other country; has some good points and some not so good points.

Oh and like most other places in the world, if you get out of the cities and forget about the politics, you'll find most people are good, decent people that just want to get on with their life.
But China is not alone in the world as far as doing crappy things.

That's funny. My husband and I were talking about China lastnight and he said the exact same thing..Infact, he went on to point out the US as his first example and covered nearly the same ones you did. He did help me to put things into a better perspective.

You're right Paul, China is not the only country out there oppressing their people. I have a bit of a different perspective and a better understanding now for sure, then when I first posted this topic.
Ha ha - great minds think alike????
It seems to be that way! yes.gif
Hey Hey its me again

I just got home from a birthday dinner during which the one child question was raised by the Aussie couple here in Shaowu. People had different answers but pretty much the same as I wrote last time.

There was one new answer that I had never heard and it was given by a policeman. It also seems that if two parents both come from a one child family the next generation can have two children. the Monty Python remark before.... also have a big nose!

Beers N Noodles to ya...shane
If he calls me Big nose again...
hug.gif party.gif hyper.gif frantics.gif hi frantics.gif devil.png angel1.gif crazy.gif air_kiss.gif blink.gif dance.gif flowers.png
this policy is not just benefit for china but benefit for all the world,china have a lot of people that about 1/5 of the world ,more baby birth will lead more enviroment problems ,this policy is have to be carry on and have no other method.
one-child policy for whole china , chinese government needto control the population increacing ,but some villege had two-child policy if people dad more childern thier give high tax for government .
I am interested in starting a sewing factory in this area ... do you have any advice for me.

It's nice to see this topic being discussed in a level-headed kind of way on here. Before I came to China, I, like most people had heard of the one-child policy, but was curious about exactly how it worked. Something that's key to understanding the whole policy is that every Chinese has a registration to a nominal work unit called a 'hukou'. The rules may vary locally depending on where the hukou is. You get different answers about the rules for ethnic minorities, but some of the things I've learned corroborate what others have said already:

- you can have more than one child as long as you pay a fine for the later child. This is effectively a form of economic rationing as the fine equates to 6 months average salary in the hukou's location.
- any mother working in a government work unit, must resign when she becomes pregnant with a second child unless she aborts it.
- there are plans to relax the policy in some areas where poverty has become less of a concern.
- in rural areas, if the first child is a girl, parents can have a second child after 7 years;
- two single children in a marriage may have a second child, if it is approved by the family planning bureau.
- only a very small number of hospitals are licensed to start the paper chain that leads to creating a hukou for a new child. Each set of tests need to be paid for. A combination of illiteracy or poverty could easily lead to a pregnant woman technically breaking the law.

I have mixed feelings about the whole thing, but don't feel I have any right to judge. If I look at Chinese I know, most appreciate what the policy has achieved and bemoan the social problems of a generation of single children more than the rigid brutality inherent in the system. What has become a headache as the population becomes mobile is the inconvenience of doing the administration and having to deal with officials who are in a position to abuse their position if they choose to - it doesn't mean they do, but...

The policy has not changed per se, but it's application has, although I've never read anything in the Western media to that end. If there's a travel lesson in all this, it's a reminder of how lazy, one-eyed and sensationalist the media can be anywhere in the world.
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.