Exemptions in China’s ‘one-child policy’

November 5, 2010

We often hear criticism in the West about China’s one child policy but seldom hear about the exceptions to that law.

There is an exception to the ‘one-child policy’ for China’s ethnic minorities. However, population control must be explained to everyone anyway.

For example, to slow population growth, China asks the Islamic Imams of the ten million Hui Muslims in China to talk to the people who worship in their temples.

Many Hui live in one of the autonomous regions in Ningxia, between southern Gansu and Inner Mongolia.

We often hear of the Uighur Muslims since they have a separatist movement and sometimes protest, but the Uighur are not the only Muslims in China.

The Hui are unique among the fifty-six officially recognized minorities of China in that Islam is their only unifying identity. They do not have a unique language and often intermarry with Han Chinese.

In fact, many live outside the Hui autonomous area.

After the Imam reads from the Quran, he explains the need for population control.  The single-child policy is actually a one, two or three child policy for the Hui depending on where they live.

Even though the Hui may have more than one child, many stop after having only one.

Since minorities in China are a small segment of the population, China’s government has exercised flexibility with the birth rate in order to keep the minorities an important part of China’s culture—sort of like affirmative action in the US.

In addition, in the countryside, having more children provides more hands in the fields with the hard agricultural work.

Learn more about China’s One Child policy.  How would you like to be responsible to feed more than 1.3 billion people?


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

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