Paper Example on Child Poverty in China

7 pages
1835 words
Harvey Mudd College
Type of paper: 
Dissertation proposal
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Child poverty levels in China have been high over the last three decades despite the creation of the one-child policy in 1979 (Manrique and Toledo, 2015). The policy had been designed to reduce the escalating rate of population in the nation, in order to ensure sufficient resources and economic growth of the nation. The implementation of the policy between 1979 to 2015 had been immensely successful in reducing the number of births recorded in the nation during that period. However, despite its perceived success, the rate of child poverty is still high and it has become a major concern for the government. The continued elevation of the rate of child poverty in the nation has been accredited to the enactment of the one-child policy and its associated repercussions in the Chinese society.

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The one-child policy in China has become one of the largest and most theatrical methodology of population control in the world. It has received both praises and critics as well as a sharp evaluation over the last five decades. The policy was established in 1979 by Deng Xiao Ping who was the Chinese leader at the time (Potts, 2006). The primary objective of the policy was to limit the nations population growth. The main goal of the policy was to limit the population of the nation by approximately 1.2 billion persons by the year 2000 CITATION Cha14 \l 1033 (Anders, 2014). Nevertheless, despite its success in population reduction, it has been linked to the escalation of the rate of child poverty in the Chinese society.

In addition, internationally, the policy has received immense criticism for violating the basic human rights through forced sterilization, abortions as well widespread abandonment, and neglect of the female child (Evans, 2008). This dissertation proposal aims at investigating whether the child poverty levels in the nation, especially in the rural areas, have changed after the end of 35 years of the one-child policy implementation. The dissertation proposal will also seek to investigate whether the one-child policy has been effective in reducing child poverty levels in all parts of China, especially in the rural settings.

Title Definition and Introduction

The phrase child poverty characterizes the aspect of children living in very poor conditions (Carey, 2009). It also describes the concept of children being brought up using very limited resources and in absence of basic social amenities such as schooling and quality health care services. Since the enactment of the one-child policy, millions of children in both the rural and urban areas of China had been subjected to child poverty. This has been attributed to various factors such as the preference of a male child in comparison to a female child. Recent statistics have portrayed that approximately 128 million persons in China live below poverty line CITATION Fon16 \l 1033 (Fonluce, 2016).

This is also approximately 13.4% of the total population in the nation CITATION Kwo12 \l 1033 (Tang, 2012). In addition, further statistics illustrated that out of the entire populace in China, 12% live in a state of extreme poverty standards (Tang, 2012). This revelation seeks an inquiry into the effectiveness of the one-child policy in reducing child poverty in the nation. An enquiry as to whether the one-child policy was effective in all parts of the nation is essential. This proposal seeks to investigate the extent to which the one-child policy aided in reducing the rate of child poverty in the nation. In addition, it will seek to determine whether the policy was effective in both the rural and the urban areas of the nation, in reducing child poverty levels.

Brief Highlight On the One-Child Policy

The policy was first enacted in 1979. Through the policy, the Chinese government was able to avert over 400 million births CITATION Jus15 \l 1033 (Parkinson, 2015). In the past, numerous scholars had refuted the effectiveness of the policy in causing a massive decline of births recorded in the nation per annum. This is also because three quarters of the fertility rate decline had already occurred in China even before the launching of the one-child policy in the 1980s (Diplomat, 2015). In addition, other scholars attributed the declining fertility rate in China to be as a result of the economic development recorded in the 1980s. They compared the decline to the fertility rate decline policies adopted by Thailand, Iran, and Indias States of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in the 1980s CITATION Car09 \l 1033 (Haub, 2009). The critiques of Chinas one-child policy argued that in the latter locations, the population control did not entail the imposition of stringent one-child policies and yet it was still successful.

In 2015, China ended the one-child policy after 35 years since it was implemented. For the first time since the draconian birth control rules were created, couples were allowed to have two children. The end of the policy was made during the four-day summit held in Beijing by the Communist party CITATION Ben161 \l 1033 (Jacobs, 2016). The summit was focused on addressing the most effective strategies for maintaining growth at a time when there is increased concerns about the productivity of the economy. The end of the one-child policy in China calls for a research aimed at determining the effectiveness of the policy in managing child poverty in the nation (Fong, 2016). According to the Communist Party that lobbied the change in policy, the move was focused on improving the balanced development of the Chinese population in reference to the high disparity recorded between female to male sex ratio. It was also focused on dealing with the issue of a large number of aging populations recorded in China. The new policy that allows couples to have two children was effective as per January 1, 2016.

Problem Statement and Objectives of the Dissertation Proposal

Despite the enactment of the one-child policy for 35 years in the Chinese government, a significant proportion of children living in China lives below poverty line CITATION Eno16 \l 1033 (Enos, et al., 2016). This is despite the significant reduction in the number of children born between 1980 to 2014 after the enactment of the policy. There is an issue of child poverty in China despite the stringent government measures meant to control the population increase in the nation since the 1980s. This dissertation proposal will seek to meet two fundamental objectives.

Objective 1# To investigate whether child poverty issues in Chinas rural areas have changed after the end of the 35 years since the enactment of the one-child policy.

Objective 2# To determine whether the one-child policy has been successful in reducing the rate of child poverty levels everywhere in China, in both urban and rural areas.

Brief Literature Review

In the past, there have been numerous publications authored to summarize the child poverty statistics in the Chinese government since the first implementation of the one-child policy in the 1980s. Despite the massive reduction in the number of persons born in the nation per annum, the poverty rate of a significant proportion of children in the nation is still low. According to a publication authored by Lixiong and Chui (2010), the level of the child poverty rate in China has been underestimated since the 1980s. According to the publication, the researchers illustrated that there is a high level of income disparity between persons living in their rural communities and those dwelling in the urban centers of the nation.

In addition, a publication authored by Angellino (2013), evidenced that in the contemporary Chinese society, the child poverty levels in the nation are still being manifested through various government systems. Such systems include the comprehensive pension system as well as the Hukou registration system. Also, the latter system has created a large mass of exploited and unprotected children belonging to the migrants who are squatters in the urban areas of the nation CITATION Kam10 \l 1033 (Chan, 2010). In addition, according to the research, mass migration in search of vibrant economic opportunities have been evidenced in China, and it has caused the increase in the number of abandoned children in the region. As a result, poor abandoned children have been observed in the rural regions, who are incapable of catering for themselves or acquiring basic education.

A publication authored by Chun Han Wong (2014), illustrated that although China, through the ministry departments of poverty alleviation and development, has enacted comprehensive strategies aimed at reducing the levels of poverty in the nation. Nevertheless, according to Wong (2014), over 200 million people in the nation still live below the poverty line, as estimated by the international poverty measures. According to the publication, Zheng Wenkai, who is also the vice-minister in the office responsible for poverty alleviation, stated that poverty levels, especially in rural communities, have been escalated by the inadequate infrastructures in the regions (Wong, 2014). The also stated that most persons in the rural areas have poor accessibility to essential resources such as education, quality health facilities as well as loans. He also pointed out that the high child poverty levels in the rural areas have also been enhanced by various natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis that are often recorded in the regions.

In addition, from a research performed by Angang, Linlin, and Zhixiao (2013), the average level of Chinas child poverty level decreased significantly between 1978 to 2002. This period marked the first phase of the one-child policy enactment in the nation. The phase was meant to reduce the high population in the nation with the sole focus of reducing the high poverty levels among numerous persons in China. Nevertheless, according to Angang, Linlin, and Zhixiao, (2013), although the average poverty standards in the nation decreased, it did not correspond to the total economic growth in the nation. In addition, according to the research by Angang, Linlin, and Zhixiao, (2013), it was evidenced that the total economic growth of the nation had slowed down significantly since the middle 1980s. This revelation illustrates that despite the reduction in the average annual poverty rates in China, the level of poverty is still significant in the nation. Also, in the publication, it was illustrated that the persons who are adversely affected by the high poverty rates in the nation are those that dwell in the rural regions.

Research Design


The investigation into the level of poverty affecting persons situated in different parts of China will aid in offering a substantial valid knowledge of the status of child poverty in the nation. This is as experienced by the residents of the affected communities over the last five decades, since the enactment of the one-child policy. The research will also seek the reasons that have contributed to the continued prevalence of high child poverty levels in the nation. This is despite the successful enactment of the one-child policy since 1979.

The interaction with the community members in the poverty-stricken regions will boost the validity of data collected during the research. As such, the data will justify the findings of poverty statistics recorded in the region since 1979 up to October 2015, when one-child policy was abolished. The criteria of the information acquired in the research will be analyzed in terms of the sample populations access to social amenities such as education and quality health care services among others.

Planned Research Design

The research design that will be employed for this research will be the cross sectional study methodology. The method is als...

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