Daily Video

November 18, 2013

China Plans to Reform One-Child Policy, Abolish Labor Camps


At a meeting of China’s ruling Communist Party, party leaders recently announced reforms to two deeply unpopular policies: the country’s one-child policy and its system of forced labor camps.

The news marks the most significant change to the policy in three decades. Now, would-be parents will be allowed to have two children if at least one parent was an only child, meaning millions of couples will be eligible.

Communist Party leaders also announced the system of forced labor camps that have been in place since 1957 will be abolished. That system, which allows police to imprison people for up to four years without formal arrest or trial, has long been detested by the Chinese people and denounced by international human rights organizations.

The party meeting also agreed to let the private market play a more important role in the world’s second-largest economy.

Warm up questions
  1. What do you know about China’s one-child policy?
  2. What do you know about China’s forced labor camps?
  3. What type of economic system does China have? Is it capitalist? Communist? Or is it a little of both?

For a 10-minute background on China that focuses on the history and geography watch this Discovery Channel piece.

Discussion questions
  1. How is the Chinese government different from the U.S. government? Be specific.
  2. Why is it considered a human rights violation to send people to prison without a trial or to limit the number of children they have?
  3. Why might have China started the one child policy in the first place? Hint, think of how many people China has.
  4. How do you think the people of China will react to these latest announcements? Do you think that it will lead to any new expectations from the people of China? What might they be?
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