China Looks to Make Its One-Child Policy Sound Less 'Threatening'

What, slogans like “If you don’t get sterilized, your house will be demolished” scare people?

The Chinese Communist Party has long appreciated the value of the concise, direct political slogan, but in matters of family planning, street banners and wall posters are frequently seen as lacking tactfulness and taste.

Research by China’s National Population and Family Planning Commission, published in the People’s Daily, concluded that a quarter of slogans posted in furtherance of its policies had been crude and harsh in the past. It described some as spine-chilling.

Among the examples it cited were, “Kill all your family if you don’t follow the rule” and, “If you escape (sterilisation), we’ll hunt you down; if you want to hang yourself, we’ll give you the rope”.

The research said milder expressions should be used to “avoid offending the public and stoking social tensions”.

For the past three decades, most Chinese couples in urban areas have been limited to having a single child.

Implementing the law has been hugely controversial, and has frequently involved sterilisation and even forced termination.


Thanks for the dodgy language, BBC. That should read “forced abortion.”


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