One child per family is the birth control policy of the People's Republic of China. This is enforced rather strictly in the urban areas, but rather loosely in the rural areas, which account for a good portion of the country.

The reason that this is needed is because there was a huge upsurge of population when Mao was in power because Mao encouraged people to have as many kids as possible. Like zealots, the people obeyed. So now we have too many people. To remedy this, the rate of growth of the population must be cut down as close to 0 as possible.

The enforcement of this policy ranges from harassment from your neighbors, neighborhood association, to forced abortions, to stories of killing newborn babies by lethal injection post-partum.

As a consequence of this policy, children born of the newer generations don’t have brothers and sisters. They are then spoiled by their families and grow up to be selfish individuals. Also, eventually there will be only 1 child to support a pair of parents, who then support two pairs of grandparents. With life expectancy increasing all the time, this could cause a lot of problems.
An interesting effect of this one-child policy is the change in the kinship terms that people call each other in Chinese. Some people I know call their cousins by what before, you would call your brother or sister.

An example would be a friend of mine, who originally told me that he was an only child. Later we were talking about someone who he referred to as his "older brother" ("gege") and I was like "hey wait, didn't you say that you were an only child?" To which he replied, "I am, I am talking about my older male cousin on my mother's side" ("biaoge")

Examples of this phenomenon are numerous to the point that if someone young (born after 1980, say)tells me about one of their siblings, I will take it that they are cousins unless they say otherwise.

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