chapter  6
22 Pages

Implementation and Resistance: The Single-Child Family Policy

WithLucien Bianco, Hua Chang-ming

This chapter describes the behaviour of the leaders responsible for enforcing the implementation of the single-child policy. Most of the incidents reported are acts of negligence or abuse committed by cadres and denounced as such by the Chinese press. The relationship between the responsibility system and the single-child policy has been the subject of ample comment and analysis since the early 1980s, both in China and abroad. It has posed many thorny problems to the authorities who are keen to carry out economic reform and family planning together. The norm stressed a hundred times is that model family planning communes and brigades have quite simply followed the good example of local cadres, while when these set a bad example family planning goes by the board. Couples are less inclined to let their resentment explode than to find a means of avoiding the obligations of family planning and, when they succeed, escape the penalties laid down for offenders.