Missile Science, Population Science: The Origins of China's One-Child Policy

  title={Missile Science, Population Science: The Origins of China's One-Child Policy},
  author={Susan Greenhalgh},
  journal={The China Quarterly},
  pages={253 - 276}
  • S. Greenhalgh
  • Published 1 June 2005
  • Political Science
  • The China Quarterly
This article traces the origins of China's one-child-for-virtually-all policy to Maoist militarism and post-Mao military-to-civilian conversion. Focusing on the work of Song Jian, leading missile scientist and scientific architect of the strict one-child policy, it shows how during 1978–80 the resources of defence science and the self-confidence of the elite scientist enabled him boldly and arbitrarily to modify the work of the Club of Rome and use that Sinified cybernetics of population to… 
Neo-socialist governmentality: managing freedom in the People’s Republic of China
Abstract This paper conceptualizes ‘neo-socialist governmentality’ as a set of rationalities of governance that aim to shape, nurture, constrain and guide the autonomy of Chinese subjects in the
Population Control in Cold War Asia: An Introduction
On 29 October 2015, the state-run Xinhua news agency of the People’s Republic of China reported headline news: the Communist Party of China announced that the government would allow all couples in
Gender analysis of the one-child policy : the impact on gender inequalities in China
The family planning policy in China, commonly referred to as the one-child policy, has been, in its various forms, in force for nearly forty years. During this time, China has undergone tremendous
Paradoxes of China's Economic Boom
China's stunning economic performance for the past three decades was not only unexpected but contradicts much received wisdom in the study of development. Four paradoxes posed by China's record are
Reappraising China's One-Child Family Policy: Do Girls and Women Suffer or Benefit?
Abstract Earlier studies on China's one-child family policy have emphasized the suffering of girls and women excessively, referring to it as the dark side of the coin. However, this article presents
Demographic Dimensions of China's Development
From time immemorial, China has been the most populous country in the world. The rise of China after 1949 was a political event and since 1980 also an economic event. Neither one had much to do with
The Futurists of Beijing: Alvin Toffler, Zhao Ziyang, and China's “New Technological Revolution,” 1979–1991
  • J. Gewirtz
  • Education
    The Journal of Asian Studies
  • 2019
This article examines former Chinese Premier and General Secretary Zhao Ziyang's policies to respond to a “New Technological Revolution,” which resulted from a most unlikely influence: the prominent
Neo-Malthusianism and Coercive Population Control in China and India
In the 1960s and 1970s, neo‐​Malthusian panic about overpopulation overtook eugenics as the primary motivation behind coercive policies aimed at limiting childbearing. Neo‐​Malthusian ideas spread
Social and economic aspects of population planning policies in the People's Republic of China
In 1979 the People’s Republic of China adopted a law introducing birth control planning, which is often known as the "one-child policy” in Western countries. The policy was created and implemented
Suzhi, the Body, and the Fortunes of Technoscientific Reasoning in Contemporary China
This essay examines how the human body has been variously imagined and acted upon in twentieth-century China. It does so by focusing on one particularly prominent feature of Chinese discourse


[Bring about a rise in national economy construction, slow down the speed of population growth].
  • X. Li
  • Medicine
    Daily report. People's Republic of China
  • 1980
Aside from encouraging married couples to have fewer children, late marriage and giving birth at a mature age should also be promoted among the people, and the 1 child family must be encouraged.
Chinese Reproductive Policy at the Turn of the Millennium: Dynamic Stability
In the 1990s, as fertility fell below replacement, China's state birth planning program began reforms, first to improve its state‐centric approach to birth limitation and then to incorporate some
Review of Population System Control
  • SIAM Review
  • 1988
Based on consultations with Chinese missile specialist and Chinese population cyberneticist
  • China's Population: Problems and Prospects
On data problems, see Judith Banister, China's Changing Population
  • Population and Development Review
  • 1987
Review of Population Control in China: Theory and Applications
  • Population and Development Review
  • 1985
Based on interviews with social scientists in several cities
  • 1985
On the social suffering, Greenhalgh and Winckler, Governing China's Population, ch
    Concerning the question of the target for population development
    • p. 5. 70. Interviews with top population scientists and birth planning officials