With the government moving to abolish China’s one-child policy, we decided to take a trip down memory lane and look at some of the propaganda used to encourage patriotic Chinese to help bring down the nation’s birth rate.
The one-child policy was first put into place in 1980 in order to curb the nation’s rapidly-growing population and has been a controversial pillar of China’s domestic policy ever since. The highest estimates indicate that is has prevented about 400 million births.
Despite plans to do away with the policy, a recent survey found that 43 percent of Chinese couples are not interested in having costly second kid, suggesting that China’s looming demographic crisis may not be that easy to avert.
The picture used as the cover of our story was taken in February, 2006 on a street in Inner Mongolia. It reads: “Family planning, a fundamental national policy.”
This slogan was made by the China’s northern rural family planning in September 9, 1997. It says: “For those who should but refuse to practice forced abortion of a second child, six other families will be punished as well.”
“Three days after giving birth to the second child, mothers should be sterilized.” This was taken in Heping county, Heyuan, Guangdong province.
“Fewer and better births, a service to the nation,” was promoted in Baofeng, Henan in 2001.
A stencil from Luoyang, Henan province in 2003. The slogan says: “The regulations on family planning have been amended. Fines for excess children are not small. One family to have an excess child will be fined for 14,000 yuan, two excess children will receive a fine of 25,000 yuan”
On a wall of a street in Fujian from August 27, 2009. The slogan reads: “Fewer and better births, good for the nation and people.”
Another says: “Fewer and better births, happiness throughout your whole life.”
“It is the right and obligation for citizens to carry out family planning.” This appeared in Haikou city, Hainan on December 27, 2009.
“Family planning is everyone’s responsibility.”
By Lucy Liu
[Images via NetEase]