Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

China’s ‘Kill all But One Child’ Policy

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 24, 2014

China has no respect for humanity so they treat people like objects of production. The kids here, for example, are nothing more than living 401k plans for their folks. With no social security to speak of, the Chinese need something else. The result is they will rely on their one-dud to give them cash.

The excerpt below speaks to the problem of the ‘kill all but one child’ policy and the impact it has had on the Chinese.


China’s one-child policy has produced several effects. Among these:

 A relatively stable population
 An alarming imbalance in the numbers of male and female children
 A generation of children unprepared for the difficulties of life (the 80s generation)
 A generation of pampered and spoiled children (小皇帝 the xiao huangdi)

There have been numerous studies since the 1980s on the problem of ‘only children’ in China, and the findings have been generally consistent. They find that these single children are usually more egocentric, less persistent and less cooperative than children with siblings.

They were more likely to be selfish, unsociable, maladjusted, conceited, fragile and cowardly, want immediate gratification and displaying disrespect for elders. The Chinese government has been forced to start parenting classes and family clinics to deal with some of these issues.

The young men (at least in Shanghai) have a kind of arrogance and defiance in their eyes that makes very evident their attitude that they are definitely superior, that you – whoever you are – are clearly inferior to them. In practice it is most unpleasant to have a young boy or man present himself in this manner to someone much older. It is not only disrespectful, but quite offensive and insulting.

I recently had a young man, maybe 18 years old, remove my vegetables from the weighing scale in a supermarket and replace them with his own – with the obvious approval of his father beside him – because he was more important than I was, and I could wait while he was gratified first. And his eyes told me how much more important he was.

It is a common adage that in China there are 6 people spoiling one child. A big part of the problem is that parents will give everything they have – apart from time – to the child, apparently failing to understand that time is by far the most important thing they can give to their children.

However, these studies are missing perhaps the most important point. Self-centered behavior is not very socially useful, but the greater problem is that many of these children are lacking in most forms of life experience and therefore haven’t accumulated the tools and the judgment to deal with the world.


Often I have seen a mother on her hands and knees on the street, tying the shoelaces of a 12-year-old boy. It is common to see a mother spoon-feeding a child of 8 or 10 years old. One can often see both parents and grandparents doing the entire enrolment process at university while the (now mature) student stands in a corner and watches. What attitude will result later in life, in marriage or the workplace, from this kind of upbringing?


One Response to “China’s ‘Kill all But One Child’ Policy”

  1. Me said

    Anyone who has lived here has also noticed the high incidence of mental illness, especially in the youth. I saw a report that Chinese children have a higher incidence of neurosis than kids from other countries.

    Chinese need to be caged.

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