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China Will Continue One-Child Policy Despite Criticism

The National Population and Family Planning Commission of China has announced its intention to continue its one-child per family policy despite allegations of abuse, while stepping up efforts to prevent sex-selection abortions. NPFPCC Director Zhang Weiqing said in an online forum that officials would continue to “unswervingly implement” the policy because higher population would place a strain on the country’s resources, reports Kaiser Network.

The one-child policy, enacted in 1978, has drawn strong criticism from activists and the international community. Last month, Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng spoke to The Guardian about the one-child policy, which he claims has included coerced abortions and sterilization, in addition to intimidation tactics. He is now attempting to launch a lawsuit on behalf of the villagers of the Shandong province who suffered abuses of the one-child policy. Furthermore, sex-selective abortion has favored male children, resulting in a pronounced gender-imbalance in the generation soon to reach maturity.

The effects of the repressive one-child policy are felt most heavily by the poor, due to the ease with which wealthy families can pay fees and have multiple children. According to Xinhua News Service, these families pay the “social maintenance fee,” while those who work for the government abide by the one-child policy out of fear for their jobs, and the poor cannot afford the fees.

Sources:

Guardian, 2/3/06; Kaiser Network 3/23/06; Xinhua News Agency, 3/5/06; Sydney Morning Herald 3/23/06

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