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News – China’s one-child policy

September 2007

China’s one-child policy


Authorities in China are trying to improve the image of their one-child policy, started in 1979 to limit the country’s population growth. The National Population and Family Planning Commission has published a list of 190 slogans to be used in advertising billboards around the country.

The move, reported by the BBC, is in response to concern that the policy is being harmed because it is perceived as harsh and unfair. Previously billboards, particularly in rural areas, have been fairly blunt, carrying slogans such as ‘One more baby means one more tomb’, and ‘Raise fewer babies but more piggies’.

Chinese family planning policy limits most urban couples to just one child but allows some families in the countryside to have a second child if their first is a girl. However, critics say it has led to forced abortions, sterilisations and a dangerously imbalanced sex ratio. The traditional preference for male heirs has prompted some families to abort female foetuses in the hope of getting boys.

China has the largest population in the world – 1.3bn in 2005 – and says its policies have helped limit its growth rate.
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