December 5th, 2007

Finally some in the Western media are waking up to what the “One Child Policy” really is and reporting it in a somewhat more accurate manner. These two sentences from this article attributed to Reuters is what I mean:

China has enforced rules to restrict family size since the 1970s, in the face of scarce land, water and energy resources. Rules vary but usually limit families to one child, or two in the countryside.

Right. Not a “One Child Policy”, but a Family Planning Policy instituted in the face of a rapidly growing population in a country desperately lacking arable land, water and energy.

The article also manages to take a slightly more balanced approach to the negative social effects of the Family Planning Policy, portraying Chinese kids as lonely kids under huge pressure from family expectations at a time of rapid social, economic and political change, and not just one-dimensional spoilt brat Little Emperors.

Alright, so I do teach some students who do a damn good impression of one-dimensional spoilt brat Little Emperors, but the fact is those kids are a small minority of the students I teach.

Anyway, congratulations to Reuters to putting some effort into actually balancing the article with reason, moderation, common sense, and some uncommonly reported facts.

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