The one child policy was only implemented in China in 1979 as a response to the over-sized population so its effects are still being seen. Its really a matter of prevention rather than elimination. The Chinese government claimed in 2000 that the policy had prevented 250 million births since 1980. Although the population is certainly still hefty, perhaps it would be much larger had the policy not been implemented. Also, the policy is not as strict as you might think. Rural couples or those without siblings may have second children. Sometimes exceptions are made if the first child is a girl. Many rural couples can have more children if they space them out by a few years. Those who do have additional children must pay a fine. The government claims they’d like to keep the policy in place until 2015.
To go off of what Carly said about exceptions being made if the first child is a girl, the great tragedy of China’s one-child rule has been what it has done to the female population of China. Due to families wanting desperately to have their one child be a male heir, there’s been wide-spread cases of infanticide of female children or else putting girls up for adoption to western countries, leaving the ratio of Chinese boys to Chinese girls out of whack. As these new generations of Chinese grow up, this comparative lack of females is going to create some fairly obvious problems.
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