Phase 3: Interpreting Information
Information From Local Contacts:
From talking to woman who live in Xizhou, I have learned a lot about what they think about the policy, and the positive and negative affects.
Ms. Zuo (12)
Ms. Zuo has a 9 year old girl and a sister. Her husband also has siblings. Even though Ms. Zuo is of Bai minority, the policy still applies to them since she lives in the "city" of Xizhou. She does not like the policy, because she wants to have more children because she thinks one is not enough. She doesn't pay school bills, the government does for her. If she had more kids, she would have to pay money.
Ayi has a four year old girl and she has a sister. The policy applied to her as well for the same reasons as Ms. Zuo. She did not want any more children and was content the way things were and agreed with the policy. She did not have a preference over sex, and was fine with having girls. If you have one child, the first nine years of education are free, splayed by the government If they really wanted another child, she could not have one because they live in a city, if she was a farmer, she could. If anyone did disobey the policy, and had another one there is a punishment. For example, in government positions they may fire you if you have more than one child. They also give you fines and charge you money if you have another child. The problem is when the parent gets old, that one child has to take care of both parents the mother and father, whereas if they could have more children, they would be better provided for. The policy helps lessen the burden on the country because each child can be better taken care of.
Dua Zi Fan (13)
Dua Zi Fan works at the baba place, and because she lives in the country, she was permitted to have two children. Anyone who lives in the country no matter what minority, can have two kids. She has one boy who is seven, and a ten month old baby girl. They are all of the Bai minority. When I asked if she would want to have three children, she said that no one ever had three kids, and they avoided it completely. She was an exception and has two sisters, because when she was born the policy was not in place, and they were encouraged to have as many children as possible. The government pays for the first 9 years of education, and from there it is the families choice whether they want their child to stay in school. Dua Zi Fan said that currently they have to pay for schooling, because kindergarten is not provided for by the government, but the nine years starts when the child is in first grade. Her husband and her are fine with the policy and said that they have a perfect life with one girl and one boy. Everyone has a card saying where they are from, the country side or the city.
Xiao Tang (5)
The policy started in 1979 and it was a critical time for marriage. At the time the gender ratio was around 1.5 men to one women. This was a big problem because women had more choices in picking men. This made them independent, gave them better education, and more confident and had higher standards to choice a partner. Men especially in the country side, were having harder times finding wives. Because of this, women were getting kidnapped, sold, forced into marriage. From a human rights perspective, it is not perfect. But from an economical point, China gave a great contribution to the world. It lessened world population, and helped the environment. It has caused some problems and disagreements throughout the country though. The government is thinking about extending the retirement age instead of 55-60 from 60-65 because they do not have enough funds to give retirement money because the are not as many young people as their are old. But if they extend the age, it does not give enough job opportunity to the younger generation. Spoiled kids are very common, because in most cases their will be six adults looking after one child. They are taken care of by two sets of grandparents, the father, and the mother. It is possible to adopt more children. If both parents are only children, they may be able to have two kids. Most people in the city only want one child though, because having a second can become too expensive. Women have to get permission to give birth, and if they do not get permission, the hospital will not take them in.
Conghui Duan (13)
Ms. Duan is an English teacher at the Xizhou Secondary Middle School. She gave me a lot of information on the one child policy. Ms. Duan agrees with the policy because she says if you have two children, all your attention, energy, time, and good education will not be put into them. She has one seventeen year old son and said he was very self centered, and that is a problem that is occurring all over China. Because so much attention goes to one child, a good portion of them become conceited. Surprisingly, Ms Duan said that in middle school, there were an equal number of girls and boys, but when they reach high school, there are more girls because boys tend to drop out. Schooling is free until grade 9, and the only fees families have to pay are for books. The government pays an allowance to 16 out of 40 students of 100 RMB a month to continue their studies. These allowances only go to good students, or students from poor families. When we asked why she had a child at such a young age, she said that most women get married at the age between 20-22 and have a baby between the ages of 22-25. When people have illegal kids, there are a few options people pursue. Some move to another city to give birth to avoid fines. Most people can not go to a regular hospital though, because they do not have a permission form from the government to have their baby, so someone comes to their home to deliver it. Ms. Duan said that there are no illegal kids here, and everyone follows the policy.
He Laoshi is the administrative director at Xizhou Secondary Middle School. There is something called shiyedanyue that means if you are working for the government, you can only have one child. Since He Laoshi is a teacher for the government, shiyedanyue applies to him, even though he lives in the country side. He said that Xizhou Secondary Middle School does not care whether you are the first born, second born, or an illegal child. They do all the background checks in primary school and then they take that list of names and automatically transfer it to middle school, so there may be some mishaps in between. When doing the background checks, all that is required are the parents ID and paperwork of where they are from (ie countryside, city). In order to get into a good high school, students have to get a certain score depending on their region and school. For example, most schools in the country side are required to get lower scores than those in the cities, or better schools. In some cases, kids will go to better schools for a better education, then go back to their home to take the test, because the required scores are lower if they live in a poorer region or in the country side. This makes it easier for them to get into high school. If a student is an only child and from the country side, the required score for them is dropped 10 points, clearly showing that even though in the country side you are allowed to have two children, the government encourages them to have one. When I asked He Laoshi why they made it so much easier for students in the country side, he said because their was more pressure in the country to compete with richer regions. Also, this is the governments way of paying them back since their lifestyle is harder. Another new thing I learned learned from He Laoshi, was that after parents have their first baby they can get a free surgery provided by the government to prevent them from having another child. He also thinks that there is a more recent policy put into place where the first and second child have to have a four to six year age gap.
Mr. Zhao is also a teacher at Xizhou Secondary Middle School. As a teacher, he thinks that children in China are getting harder to teach. They are self centered and arrogant because of all the attention they receive, making them harder to educate. In most classes there are an equal amount of boys and girls because the Bai people do not have that mentality that boys are better than girls. It happens that the Bai greatly respect woman. If in the countryside, the parents have only one child and they are over 50, they get a few thousand RMB a year because their children do not have as good of an education and they want them to be able to compete with kids from the city.
Mr. Duan is a retired government official. In order to enforce the policy, they gave fines, and for the poorer family it may have been a couple hundred whereas if it was a richer family, it could have been a couple tens of thousands of RMB. In 1982, the policy that the Bai people could only have two children came into place, and still exists today although most choose to have one child. Back then, when people would have a third child, most of them turned to abortion because of social and governmental pressure.
Information From 3-to-5s:
Mr. Zhao (7)
The people of Xizhou are happy with the family planning policy, because if you follow it, the government provides their children with education until Middle School, taking away the pressure from the parents. If you have one child they give you a bonus in money which is also paid by the government, but if you don't follow the policy they may not pay for the schooling past primary. It applies to everyone in Xizhou, except farmers can have two children. In Xizhou there is no favoring guys over girls. In some farmer villages older people are bias towards boys. Occasional in schools if there is an older teacher, they may be a little bias towards boys. Now there are more younger teachers so this doesn't happen much because the younger generations mindset has changed.
Background Information (From Phase 1, Step 4):
In 1949 Mao Zedong wanted China to multiply, for manpower. He banned birth control and contraceptives, causing the population to almost multiply. This strained the countries food supply, another reason why the policy was put in place (2, 3) so in 1955, the government said the opposite, and was promoting birth control. (2) In 1979 the family planning policy was introduced (2) I have read that it only applies to 40% to 63% of the population from one source (2) 35% from another (4, 1). The policy applies to Han minorities living in Urban areas, (8) but it does not apply to citizens of Hong Kong, Macau,(1) or Taiwan (10). If both parents are only children, they can have two children (8) If the child has major health or birth defects, parents can normally have a second (8) Apparently they can also apply to have a second child if the first is a girl (8)The sex ratio in China currently is 113 boys to every 100 girls. (8) There are currently 1.34 billion citizens of China (3) 60% of the population is in rural China, so that is where the policy was most enforce (4).
2) Mental Floss
5) Xiao Tang (Yangzuoren manager)
6) Wise Geek
7) Mr. Zhao (Yangzuoren guard) April 24, 2013 at 2 PM
Answers To Previous Questions (From Phase 1, Step 5) :
1) When did the family planning policy go into place and why?
The family planning policy when into place in 1979 under the ruling of Mao for multiple reasons. Mainly to control population growth, so everyone would have a better quality life, and reduce poverty. Also there was a strain on food supply at the time.
2) What exactly does it say in the written policy?
3) Is it enforced more in rural China or in the big cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong ect?
It is enforced in rural China, the policy is exempt in Hong Kong and Macau. But in the country side, people are allowed to have two children.
4) How is the policy enforced?
The policy is mostly enforced by paying fines, and not giving free education.
5) What is the sex ratio in schools in Xizhou?
half and half in middle school, and a little bit more girls a high school
6) What is the sex ratio in China?
113 boys to 100 girls
7) Do the parents favor more boys or girls in Xizhou? In the rest of China?
In Xizhou parents do not favor a gender. I have heard from a few sources that in other parts of China, parents will sell their girls because they don't want them.
8) Does this policy apply to all inhabitant of China? Of Xizhou?
No it does not apply to all citizens of China, or Xizhou. It mostly applies to the Han people, and is not liable in Hong Kong and Macau, China.
9) How do the people of Xizhou feel about this policy?
Everyone has different viewpoints, but most people say that it is benefiting the country, but not good morally.
10) Did most parents pressure their children to have a certain gender? Do they now?