Back when China enforced its one-child policy, slogans were publicly displayed to deter citizens from having too many children. Many of them were not so much educational, however, as disturbing…

The Chinese government rolled out its controversial one-child policy in 1980 as a method of keeping its rapidly increasing population under control. Every married couple was allowed to have only only one baby, with exemptions for those belonging to certain ethnic minorities and in special situations such as remarriage, which allowed some couples to have up to two children.

It’s common to spread word of a government policy through use of slogans to raise awareness among citizens, but looking back at some of the messages written in public places during the earlier years of administration has sent a chill down our spines.

In rural areas of China, instead of promoting the supposed positive outcomes of the policy, what can only be described as threats were written in big, bold characters in order to make the message abundantly clear to the less educated.

We’re happy to say that these are now relics of the past, but can you imagine seeing messages like these written across a wall in your home town?

▼ “Blood can form a river, but more than one child cannot be allowed!”


▼ “Use a coil after the first, ligation after the second; face abortion and sterilization if you conceive too many, face sterilization and penalty if you deliver too many.”


▼ “Abort if you have to, or your house and cattle will be taken away.”


▼ “Hit it! Abort it! Let it flow! Anything but let it be born!”


As seen in some of the photos above, locals had vandalized some of the writings as an act of protest. It was inevitable that the people felt highly intimidated and pressured by these extreme slogans, and that resulted in distress and even conflicts. In 2007, the Chinese government moved to scrub out messages of this kind, and in 2011 ordering a thorough cleanup. The authorities subsequently took on a more positive approach to campaigning the policy by incorporating concepts of building warm, harmonious families and respecting the elders at home.

Of course, not all the slogans found in rural villages were threats of sterilization or punishment. Among the many slogans that were banished from the walls, there were also messages that attempted to educate and promote an image of positivity:

▼ “Have fewer children and plant more trees, have fewer children and rear more pigs.”


▼ “Have a correct understanding of the normal physiological phenomenon—spermatorrhea. It’s nothing unusual if it happens once or twice a month, don’t play with yourself too much.”


China’s one-child policy was abolished in October this year, and couples are now allowed to have two children.

Source/images: ETToday