やさしい英語会話 (4) China's One-Child Policy

Posted by: huepod



今回は中国の一人っ子政策(One-child policy)について、中国人の留学生とアメリカ人が話し合います。この政策は1979年から始まり、一人以上の子どもを持つと法律で罰金が科せられるとのことです。その背景には中国の人口の多さがあるのですが、実際の人口はどのくらいでしょうか。




*** Script ***

M: Hi, Ruby. How's it going?

W: Oh, hi, George. I'm fine, but I'm a little busy with another essay.

M: Another one?

W: Yep.

M: It's like, every time I see you, you're busy writing an essay! You're such a good student... I'd rather die than have to write that much.

W: I know, but I have to practice my English writing skills since I'm taking the TOEFL in the fall. You're so lucky that you were born speaking English - you don't have to take all these hard English exams like the TOEFL or GRE.

M: Haha, yeah. Sorry about that. So, what's the topic this time?

W: We're supposed to come to a conclusion based on this diagram, and then write some ideas we have about it.

M: Let me see. Oh, the fertility rate... hmm... Wow, are you kidding? China's fertility rate is only 0.8? Wouldn't that mean women are having less than 1 child in their lifetime?

W: Yeah, that's because of the one-child policy.

M: Oh, that explains it. No offense, but don't you think it's stupid and cruel for the government to make such a policy? People should have the right to choose how many children they wanna have. Doesn't that shock you that the government infringes on peoples' rights like that? It's almost inhumane, don't you think?

W: I agree with you to some extent, but calm down a bit.

M: Sorry, I didn't mean to get so worked up, but I just don't understand how they can do that. So, what do you think about the one-child policy? I'm really interested in hearing what Chinese think about it. Oh, by the way, are you an only-child too?

W: Yep, I'm an only child. But listen, do you know what the population in China is right now?

M: Well, I know it's the largest in the world, but I don't know the exact number.

W: 1.3 billion. That's about 5 times the United States, in the same amount of land!

M: Wow! That's crazy!

W: Yeah. So that means 1 in every 6 people in the world is Chinese. This huge population is the main obstacle to the development of China's economy.

M: I see. But hasn't the economy made big advancements recently? China's GDP is the fourth largest in the world, isn't it?

W: True, but the average is pretty low. Some people can't even afford to send their children to school!

M: Really?

W: Yeah. So although I was a bit lonely growing up, and wished I could've had a brother, I agree with the one-child policy. We have no choice until we fix our economy.

M: Oh, now I get it. Now that I know how you feel about it, I realize that I was wrong. Sorry about that!

W: Oh, don't worry about it.

M: By the way, why do you want a brother instead of a sister?

W: Hmm, I'd prefer to have an older brother, kind of for protection.

M: Ha ha, not a bad idea.

W: It's too bad. I can only dream...

M: Hey, I know! I can be your brother! Whaddaya say?

W: Thanks, my dear brother!

(Written by Sun Guangna (Ruby))

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