Chinese Families Use Loopholes to Have More Than One Child

September 3, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. loophole (n.) 
[loop-hohl] – a mistake in a rule or law that lets people avoid getting punished
Example: The businessman used a loophole in the government’s tax laws to avoid paying heavy taxes.

2. bribe (v.) [brahyb] – to give something valuable to someone in order to make him or her do something illegal or dishonest
Example: The speeding driver bribed the police officer so that he would not receive a speeding ticket.

3. abolition (n.) [ab-uh-lish-uhn] – destruction or removal of a rule or law
Example: Many people joined the protest for the abolition of the death penalty.

4. only child (n.) [ohn-lee chahyld] – a person who has no sibling (brother or sister)
Example: As an only child, he received much attention from his parents.

5. critic (n.) [krit-ik] – a person who publicly shares his opinion and judgments about something or someone
Example:  Critics of the government said the president has not fulfilled his past promises.

Read the text below.

Many families in China continue to take risks to have more than one child despite China’s one-child policy, which has been in place since 1979.

Loopholes in the one-child policy allow some parents to have additional children. Rich families, for instance, can pay a fine of $31,000 or more for each additional child. Other parents give birth abroad so that their children may be classified as foreign citizens.

Less wealthy Chinese parents, on the other hand, try getting away with illegal methods.  There are those who wait for their second child to be born, and then register their first and second child as twins. A few parents bribe officials with $1,000 to create false documents for additional children.

Several parents believe the advantages of having more children are worth the risk. Twenty years ago, Zhang Jian and his wife paid a large fine and lost their jobs when they had a second child. But he says he was willing to sacrifice to experience the happiness of raising two children.

Now grown up, Zhang Jian’s second daughter, Zhang Dongjuan, is thankful to her parents. She says she is very close to her older sister, and plans to have two children as well when she is married.

Zhang Dongjuan supports the abolition of the one-child policy. She believes its removal will lessen the pressure of looking after aging parents currently placed on only children.

Many critics are also calling for the abolition of China’s one-child policy.  They say the country will soon suffer the social and economic consequences of having too many elderly people and too many males.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Do you approve of China’s one-child policy? Why or why not?
·         What is the best way of controlling the growth of a population?

Discussion B

·         Describe the common family size in your country.
·         Does your country have similar population problem as China? How does your government address the population problem?

September 3, 2012