China's controversial one child policy has stemmed population growth but at what cost? From forced abortions to heavy fines, many have suffered.
"If people tried to have a second child and didn't have any money, they'd have their house pulled down," complains Liu Shuling. She attracted the wrath of local officials and was heavily fined when she became pregnant a second time. "It was very hard," she recalls. "Fortunately, we didn't starve to death." For the past twenty-five years, controlling population growth has been a major priority for the Chinese government. "Unless there is a containment of population, there will be no economic growth, no social stability or social harmony," explains official Siri Tellier. But there's real concern that this policy has created a generation of spoilt children. "They are very delicate. They can't cope with setbacks," states teacher Sun Kaiyun. Demographic growth may have been stemmed but new population problems have been created. The preference for boys has led to millions of female foetuses being aborted. Now, tens of millions of Chinese men face a future with no prospect of a female partner. And that could create the social unrest the one child policy was supposed to avoid.
Produced by ABC Australia. Ref - 2777
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