Mystery Why is Mai Ling an unhappy child? This is a mystery about Mai Ling, a child in China. China is an LEDC (Less economically developed country). This mystery investigates China’s strategies for coping with a large and growing population and how it affects the people. By the end of it you should: - know how China has tried to limit the growth of its population and - understand some of the effects of this policy on its population. Follow up tasks. 1. Why did China need a strategy for its population growth? 2. List the main parts of this strategy. 3. Use your answer to the mystery to describe some of the social effects of this policy. Mai Ling has no brothers or sisters. Mai Ling lives in Beijing, China. Mai Ling’s parents are both in charge of sections at nearby factories. Mai Ling has many computer games. China’s birth rate has declined from 22 per 1000 in 1982 to ?? per thousand in 2000. Mai Ling’s parents had to seek permission from the authorities before they could have a child. China’s population was expected to reach 1.6 billion by 2045. Parents in China receive the cost of child care and medical expenses for their one child. Many companies have moved their production to China to take advantage of the cheap cost of labour. Parents in China may have to repay benefits if they have a second child. Parents in China fear there will be nobody to look after them when they get older. Mai Ling enjoys school because she can meet with her friends. There has been a large increase in pregnancy terminations in China since 1979. In rural areas, female infanticide has increased dramatically since 1980. Mai Ling longs for a brother or sister. Mai Ling is prone to temper tantrums. Mai Ling has her own music centre with many up to date CDs. Mai Ling’s tea time includes a long discussion about her school work during the day. Mai Ling’s parents check her homework every night. Mai Ling’s diet includes rice on most days. Mai Ling has her own bedroom in the small family flat she lives in. Mai Ling quite enjoys her 20 minute walk to school every morning. Mai Ling’s parents expect her to get good grades and go on to Beijing University when she is older. When Mai Ling gets married she will be expected to live with her husband’s family. Couples in China cannot get married under the age of 25 years. Children in China are expected to look after elderly parents because pensions are low. If Mai Ling had lived in the countryside she would have been able to have a younger brother or sister.
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