Slogans for family planning need to be updated

Updated: 2016-04-08 08:27

By Yuan Quan, Liu Dajiang and Han Chuanhao from China Features(China Daily)

Slogans for family planning need to be updated

An old poster with a new family planning slogan is found on the Web. XINHUA

Ominous messages

In the world's most populous country, childbearing is not a private issue among families. It has long been viewed as a "revolutionary task" in the national interest.

In the early 1980s, red banners that declared the family planning policy, like Chairman Mao's famous quotations, bedecked city streets; in the countryside, slogans were painted on walls and buildings.

Families that violated the one-child policy were branded "guerrillas", and they sometimes hid to escape huge fines or other penalties.

Traditionally, perpetuating the bloodline is seen as a virtue in China. When New China was founded in 1949, the country was very poor and underdeveloped and the "more people, more power" idea was widely accepted. The population exploded from 540 million in 1949 to 830 million by 1970. The contrast sharpened between limited land and the massive population.

Fearful that uncontrolled growth would restrict economic development, China started strict implementation of a one-child policy, mostly among its urban population in the late 1970s to deal with the population pressures.