At the same time, the PRC Marriage Law was revised, stating that birth planning was a legal responsibility for both husband and wife.The central government also suggested concrete means for implementing the One-Child Policy.
In September 1979, China’s Fifth National People’s Congress passed a policy that encouraged one-child families.
Following this decision from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), campaigns were initiated to implement the One-Child Policy nationwide.
Since Song’s team held high credentials in mathematical sciences, which according to the CCP leadership were more immune to ideological influences than social sciences, it was argued that more recognition should be given to Song’s conclusions.
With further discussions, the National People’s Congress issued a letter in the Government Work Report on 7 September 1979 that encouraged one-child families and deterred families from having more than two children.
During the 1970s, the CCP governmental philosophy shifted from Mao Zedong’s emphasis on ideological class struggle to an effort to incorporate science into policy making advocated by the Deng Xiaoping leadership team.
Informed by a neo-Malthusian population theory that regarded population growth as the most serious problem of the modern world, the leadership began to associate a large population with the many problems that China was facing: poverty, inadequate education, pollution, and unemployment.However, unlike western countries, where contraceptive pills were more prevalent, IUDs and sterilization played a dominant role in intervening reproduction in China.According to population researcher Pi-Chao Chen, by 1985, IUDs and sterilization constituted 85% of all contraceptive use in China.The calculation implied that the current Chinese population had already passed its carrying capacity.Therefore, a stringent control of population was fundamental for China’s continued economic growth and modernization.The fear of a looming population explosion in the 1970s led to the Party calling for a solution to curb, and eventually halt, China’s population growth.The recognition that China’s large population might be a threat to the wellbeing of the country resulted from an influx of Western demographical literature as well as CCP’s political reorientation.In 1974, the Office of Population Theory Research was established in the Beijing College of Economics.Experts on population were commissioned to intensively examine Western demographic studies and the population reality in China, with aims of designing a policy solution with sufficient scientific support to address the impending population crisis.Although available alternatives suggested milder tactics for population regulation, the Party gradually leaned toward a proposal from a group of cybernetics scientists who suggested an immediate and stringent control of China’s population.From the late 1960s to the mid-1970s, western countries witnessed the rise of a neo-Malthusian school of thought that predicted mass starvation as the inevitable consequence of rapidly growing populations.