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Geography AS Level China
Case Study Edexcel examination
During the 1950 there was a very high birth rate in China because of state philosophy that a large
population gives a strong nation and so the population was encouraged to have as many children as
possible. Also to make matters worse death rates were falling because of improved food supplies and
Then during the 1959 and 1961 the "great leap forward" occurred which was a time when industrial
production had to be increased at all costs and so no attention was paid to farming, the result, a
catastrophic famine killing 20 million people.
During the 1960 Chinas population was starting to become a problem because every three years
Chinas population was increasing by 55 million! (The population of the UK) So the government was
forced to introduce family planning programmes in the 1970. By 1975 the average family size had fallen
to 3 children. Which still had to be reduced so the government introduced the WanXiShao which
means "later, longer, fewer"
Longer gaps between children
But the government had to reduce the population to 700 million when it was currently at 1000 million so the
government introduced the famous "one child policy".
One child policy
If people only had one child the government would provide them with free education, priority
housing, pension and family benefits.
If you had a second all benefits would be lost and fines placed on families.
Marriageable age for men was set to 22 and women 20 and you need to ask permission from the
If women ignored and just kept having more children then they may be "persuaded" to abort or
The granny police was set up to make sure that families didn't break rules.
Contraceptives became available to up to 80% of the population!
Caused gender unbalance because people (especially farmers) considered boys to be more useful
on farmland so if parents saw using ultrasound that their child was a girl then they may abort and
Special cases permitting you to have another child:
If your first child is mentally or physically handicapped
Farmers may be allowed to have a second child if their first one was a girl.
Minority groups in isolated areas may be permitted more children.
If you had twins state will permit it and you won receive a fine
Thanks to the 1 child policy 700 million births have been prevented. But created an aeging population
and a great gender imbalance