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Preparing for the trip of a lifetime

I am highly looking forward to studying in China because there is no better way to understand another culture than to be immersed in it. I think it will be interesting trying to learn a new language, explore new territory and be surrounded by a booming economy. The business aspect of the trip will also be great learning experience. As an MBA student, it is more important than ever to be aware of the growing trends of globalization. It will be exciting to be in a developing economy and see the economic trends there. I think it will open my mind to see the world in a different light. I think that a diverse workforce is becoming more common and that this experience will help put me in a diverse situation.

I was sitting by the lake this evening, watching the sunset and listening to the fish jump and the loons cry, and I couldn’t help but think about the change in pace that we are about to experience. It will be eye-opening to get a taste of life without environmental protection; it will be strange to experience the smog of the major metropolitan areas. I hope we are also able to travel outside the city so we can see the differences in the city life versus the life in the rural areas.

It will be a unique experience to pair up with Chinese students. I am curious about their motivation and tenure and how hard they had to work, and what sacrifices both them and their parents have had to make to get as far as they are today. I love to explore so being able to see the Great Wall of China will be a remarkable sight. I think that this experience will change how I view the world, and I am looking forward to every minute of it (except the airplane ride!)

THE CHANGING POPULATION OF CHINA

The book I read was called the Changing Population of China and it provided a great deal of stats dealing with the country. I was mostly interested in a few sections, those being the population policy, family-planning program, women in China and the education system.

POLICIES
The Population Policy and family planning program were interesting because I remember doing a report on the ‘Only One Child per Couple’ policy back in my freshman year of college. Since then, changes have occurred with these policies as they have moved from a demographic orientation to a more service orientated. As of 1995, China has been abiding by what is called an Integrated Approach to Family Planning with Development. The policy assesses population quantity, quality, age structure, sex composition and geographic distribution.

Many policies have been intact and are still used in China. The ‘Only One Child per Couple’ policy, began in 1979 and it wasn’t until 1984 that a loophole was created called “Opening a Small Hole? policy that allowed couples to have additional children under some circumstances. What is interesting is that the government grants a monthly stipend to single-child-certificate holders. A couple can actually receive five Yuan for a boy and six Yuan for a girl, as well as other benefits, up until the child turns 14 years of age. The population policy holds that it is meant to control the population quantity and improve the quality of life through improved physical health and education. There is also the Family-Planning Program that is designed to regulate and space the time between births in a family. If a couple fails to abide by the program, consequences such as losing the rights to purchase a flat, loss of subsidies for their children’s education, and denial of employment or promotion. A Fertility Policy is also intact that encourages late marriage, fewer but healthier births, ‘One Child per Couple’ policy, longer space between births, and the postponement of child bearing.

AGE and SEX STRUCTURES

There have been a plethora of articles and research as to why there are a surplus of boys and not as many girls in the population of China. The authors of the book came up with three hypotheses as to why this might be true:

1.Ultrasound-B technology is used to determine the sex of the child. It is suggested that females are aborted in hopes of the parents getting pregnant again to have a male so that family lineage can be secured.

2. Female births and adoptions are under-reported.

3. There is a higher mortality rate of female infants and children.

The authors tend to believe mostly in the first hypothesis, but there is not sufficient data to prove this hypothesis.


Interesting facts:
• The cost of getting married in China has increased to about ¥50,000 to ¥100,000.

• Higher education was free in China until 1994, then a number of universities decided to charge the students for a portion of their tuition bill.

• In 1997, all higher education students were expected to pay part of their tuition.

• According to the 1990 consensus, there were 204.885 million (18% of the population) illiterate people in China. The highest rates were found in southwest China. Adult literacy is above 90% in Tianjin.

• In 1982, about half of the female population was illiterate. In 1995, the female illiteracy rate decreased to a quarter of the population.

• There are 18 ethnic minorities in China. The majority of the population is Han nationality.