Readers React: The problem with China’s one-child policy was its execution, not its necessity


To the editor: An L.A. Times article on China’s erstwhile one-child policy gave a one-sided view of its effects and ignored some important facts.

During the time the one-child policy was in effect, China went through an unprecedented economic transformation. It would have been worthwhile to explore the question of whether this revolution could have been accomplished without controlling population growth.

Certainly there were excesses during the implementation of the one-child policy, but that does not prove that the goal of stopping population growth is counterproductive. In fact, the end of population growth is a necessity that we all must confront.


The planet can support only so many people. China is now the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide and the largest consumer of many of the world’s resources. How much worse would this be if China had not consciously limited its population growth?

John La Grange, Solana Beach


To the editor: Much of this article focused on the personal anguish of a woman (only one of China’s 1.4 billion people) who evidently did not take the necessary precautions after having her first child.

Has the author not considered what China and the world would be like without the one-child policy? The world is already overpopulated, critical resources are dwindling, and the rate of individual consumption of energy and resources is rising, especially in China. They are building many new coal-fired power plants over there.

With this in mind, any suggestion that we should have more kids to prevent a similar demographic impact in our country is absurd.

Mark Henry, San Luis Obispo


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