One Child Policy: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

  • Published: 07 October 2019
  • John Oliver discusses China’s one-child policy, and all its consequences, intended and not.

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Comments • 11 819

  • calvin0416ny
    calvin0416ny  4 minutes back

    China is ripe for a tech disruption. Anyone wants to invest in my wife sharing start-up WeWife?

    • Gaz Matic
      Gaz Matic  7 minutes back

      Oh now liberals are against abortions...

      • Johann Popper
        Johann Popper  11 minutes back

        Sure, it's very easy to distinguish between being pro-choice and anti-forced abortions, on basis of who decides -- for early abortions or non-viable situations. However, one of these points of view only considers the woman; the other point of view considers both the woman and the 9 month old infant that was butchered and dumped in a mass grave after selling the organs. And that murdered infant was probably a little girl. The only reason Oliver goes out of his way to point this out is to sort of sweep the details under the rug because the unlimited abortion lobby is so powerful in the U.S.

        Otherwise, good expose.

        • hardened hoplite
          hardened hoplite  38 minutes back

          Dumb leftist retard john oliver

          • Jonnie Brim
            Jonnie Brim  41 minutes back

            Isn't China overpopulated?

          • Katharine Horowitz
            Katharine Horowitz  46 minutes back

            Thank you for acknowledging that you can be pro-choice AND anti-forced abortion. Because there are many anti-choicers out there who seem to equate the two, and who would have no hesitation to exploit that poor woman's story in order to promote forced birth.

            • Martin Papp
              Martin Papp  1 hours back

              John fails to understand or selectively ignores the fact that all the consequences that he thinks are terrible, are consequences that the china regime is willing to accept. Nothing in that video would make Chinese officials think twice. To them these are petty concerns in comparison to world domination and the greatness of the middle kingdom.

              • Moonlit
                Moonlit  1 hours back

                John Oliver is a sexy cartoon. 😂

                • SVAFnemesis
                  SVAFnemesis  2 hours back

                  People laugh at these policies all the time but I do wonder what would another governing ideology do when they face a population crisis. I'm not defending anything but critism is only valid with a suggestion.

                  • David Lefebvre
                    David Lefebvre  2 hours back

                    Its a little ironic your saying communist China is bad and your a democrat.. wtf

                    • Enki Enlil
                      Enki Enlil  2 hours back

                      They were ready to take the step but not ready to face the effect

                      • kopi bin
                        kopi bin  3 hours back

                        And yet ya'all cant get enough of products manufactured in China

                        • Vasanth KP
                          Vasanth KP  3 hours back

                          Hotstar (now part of Disney) has edited out the Disney's animation part from this episode on their India streaming service. shame on Hotstar and Disney for censoring content on the Internet

                          • Yokohama Lion
                            Yokohama Lion  3 hours back

                            This guy loves to hear himself talk.

                            • Norman Ingrassia
                              Norman Ingrassia  3 hours back

                              just read the dark road by Ma Jian

                              • Ritik Rawal
                                Ritik Rawal  4 hours back

                                When will you do a show on Indian economy and corruption ?

                                • Sam Tam
                                  Sam Tam  4 hours back

                                  Where are all the butthurted people from China I can't see shit in the comment section
                                  Oh they can't even use Google never mind

                                  • markman manmark
                                    markman manmark  4 hours back

                                    this guys a scumbag swamp rat

                                    • Chaostheoryrulz
                                      Chaostheoryrulz  4 hours back

                                      Lol, the Chinese people are so easy to manipulate.

                                      • OhPlease a
                                        OhPlease a  4 hours back

                                        USA should implement the no breeding policy when you are a descended of a fukrockers or orange.

                                        • Cha Keeb
                                          Cha Keeb  5 hours back

                                          one of your weakest episodes to date.

                                          and some head-scratching correlations to say the least.

                                          Fewer kids increases political control? How exactly?

                                          McDonalds and the fast food industry enter China in the early 1990s.

                                          Then "Little Meatballs" appear, the reason being the 1-child policy?
                                          Even if you want to pursue that line that kids are being pampered now, isn't that a direct contradiction of your earlier claim that having fewer kids does not increase the quality of these kids' upbringing?

                                          Why report population gender disparity in absolute figures and not ratios? What's the significance of 34m in a population of 1.5+b? The gender ratio was actually 1.048 in 2017 (source: statista) while the same ratio worldwide is about 1.01 (wikipedia). An issue surely but a grave one? Hardly.

                                          The same argument made about ageing population and economic challenges is reciprocated in many European countries where fertility rates are far below 2.1 (needed to sustain the population) and that with governments mostly supporting and encouraging child birth. Higher education, female emancipation, environmental awareness all lead to the same result. In fact, the only way European populations are not decreasing in numbers is immigration.

                                          A whole segment on the issue and you fail to mention a single benefit of population control. Income and quality of life has indeed increased exponentially in China over the past decades. Not to mention that the policy has led to 1.3 billion fewer tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2005 (

                                          I am not pro forced measures and absence of choice by any means. But family planning should be a thing (regardless of religious lobbying and protests). Even your compatriots call for it:

                                          • 旺旺读文献
                                            旺旺读文献  6 hours back


                                            • Chad Thompson
                                              Chad Thompson  7 hours back

                                              This is exactly what leftists want here in America.....a giant police state and the wholesale murder of anyone who disagrees....fuck are the real fascists

                                              • Stephen2462
                                                Stephen2462  4 hours back

                                                Of course we don't. Relying on strawman arguments just makes you look silly.

                                            • Xinyu Wang
                                              Xinyu Wang  7 hours back

                                              I wouldn't say this is totally wrong, but totally condescending and full of prejudice

                                              • Xinyu Wang
                                                Xinyu Wang  7 hours back

                                                dude, you probably need a better research group. 421 problem refers to that a young couple would have to take care of 4 parents and 1child, or probably more

                                                • YangGe ShatterU
                                                  YangGe ShatterU  7 hours back

                                                  I am Chinese and I like his point that the liberty of pregnancy should be protected but we indeed need a more appropriate way rather than draw up regulations to forcibly stop giving birth to more babies and the harsh reality is that I am still single now because of the policy. :(

                                                  • t v
                                                    t v  7 hours back

                                                    Actually, thanks to private healthcare, private education, and a capital-worshipping economy, Americans can also just name their kids after large sums of money.

                                                    • Chris Caldwell
                                                      Chris Caldwell  7 hours back

                                                      Yes John, The problem isn't the murder, it's who decides the murder.

                                                      • Chris Caldwell
                                                        Chris Caldwell  7 hours back

                                                        Nope, still not funny. Also, stop criticizing China. China did nothing wrong. China is the future. If China is bad, then it makes Communism look bad, and we all know Communism is on the right side of history. It's 2019 after all.

                                                        • Gavin Li
                                                          Gavin Li  7 hours back

                                                          I'm Chinese, and I refuse to believe that the child is speaking Chinese at 6:50, lol. Maybe my Chinese sucks, but I really don't understand a single word he said. When I try to understand what the woman was trying to say at 8:35, I began to refuse to believe I'm Chinese.

                                                          • Kate100294764
                                                            Kate100294764  8 hours back

                                                            just the tip of the iceberg of the communist parties atrocities against its own people. what a terrible and murderous stain on China's history.

                                                            • whadafishyo
                                                              whadafishyo  8 hours back

                                                              Imagine a China without that policy. We have 7billion humans in the world right now, we need less of us, not more. The implementation might have been dodgy, but you have to agree that it was a necessary measure.

                                                              • Наталья Борисова

                                                                Now I have questions for 50 Cent's mother for naming him like that

                                                              • X Y
                                                                X Y  8 hours back

                                                                I'm a one child policy kid, I was born in 1993, and I wasn't my mom's first pregnancy. She was pregnant in 1987 with a girl, under the pressure from family, friends and the local law enforcements, she had an abortion because of a particularly horrible discrimination against women/female gender in Chinese traditional culture (I was raised in a fairly conservative region in China). She endured a few years of abusive behavior from my father after her abortion, and was pregnant with me in 1992. To this day I have no idea how she managed to endure all those, all by herself, for so many years, while still being the loving mother she is. She is the strongest person I have ever known, she is my hero. My mom's life could have been happier and I could have had a sister, if this policy wasn't there. There are hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of similar stories during the 80s and 90s in China. The government implemented this policy at the cost of the happiness of an entire generation.

                                                                The policy itself was a short sighted mistake from the very beginning. It had a short term benefit, fertility rate dropped drastically in the 80s and population growth was controlled. But the long term harm it introduced to gender equality, fertility rate, wellfare, education, medical care and all other aspects of people's lives are immeasurable, not to mention the discrimination against women was amplified by this policy (look up suicide rate of Chinese women and the amount of abandoned baby girls in rural China, you'll see). In a few years the population will start to drop, and in a few decades the majority of Chinese population will be elderly people. Disproportionate population structure (both in gender and in age) will be a major difficulty, maybe even the downfall of contemporary China. Not to mention it's incredibly inhumane. Human lives are not numbers in some official statistics, as you can see, this policy has already caused and will continue to cause suffering amongst Chinese people.

                                                                Heavy topic, thank you for reading this and have a good day :)

                                                                • fairlind
                                                                  fairlind  8 hours back

                                                                  Hmmmm, I wonder what the consequences would have been if China hadn’t implemented the one child policy. Somehow I see massive starvation and sweeping epidemics.

                                                                  • Devin Elgert
                                                                    Devin Elgert  9 hours back

                                                                    If we want future generations to avoid the catastrophies that will be incurred by climate change, a zero child policy is the one to adopt.

                                                                    • Carlos Diaz
                                                                      Carlos Diaz  9 hours back

                                                                      I know first hand two of those "Second-child"  individuals who, in the end, benefitted from that Godless, Machiavellian, Only-Child  Chinese policy.  They both speak Spanish as their main language, because they had to emigrate to Latin America as Children, in order to survive. Their stories on how they got there, would make a fascinating book.   One was raised in Peru (How, he got there, is a story of legend).  I met him while I was working at a Hispanic meat market in L.A. in the afternoons, while I was working at the same time in my ER degree during the day. He spoke excellent Spanish, and would buy our food and our products.  Then there was one of my proctors while I was doing my rounds as a student ER at Baldwin Park Kaiser Permanente.  She spoke perfect Spanish, with a slight Chilean accent.  Her story on how she got there from China is both harrowing and amazing.  I take off my hat to all of those "Second Children" who had to leave China.  Their lives, their fascinating experiences, and their remarkable intelligence bloomed everywhere else. Many Latin American countries--aware of what was going on there--welcomed them, and, in turn, they have blessed our Latin American countries as well.  Everywhere  you go In the major Latin-American cities, there you will find a booming and thriving Chinese community who are fluent in both Spanish and Chinese.  I have a lot of respect for what they have gone through.  I really do.

                                                                      • naturalpn7
                                                                        naturalpn7  10 hours back

                                                                        Why do men continue 2 run governments again?

                                                                        • Hans-Joachim Bierwirth
                                                                          Hans-Joachim Bierwirth  10 hours back

                                                                          John Oliver has always been an idiot but this is grotesque even by his standard of stupidity.

                                                                          • 周馳浩
                                                                            周馳浩  11 hours back

                                                                            What does 30 million men means?
                                                                            It means the raise of Feminist.
                                                                            Now Chinese women are asking for more prerogative
                                                                            in marriage.
                                                                            The bridegroom need to have his own house, car, and allow put bride‘s name on the document
                                                                            Most of women in charge of finance for their family, husbands' wallet are monitored 24hrs.
                                                                            One of my friend need to use his small vault to buy Borderlands3(game) find reasons for his wife to go out at night and play with us(to save the Pandora).
                                                                            Some of women even refuse to have a job, hire housekeeping staff to do all house work (using husband's money) and refuse to taking care the baby.
                                                                            Good news for our ladys, not for me.

                                                                            • RedDelPaPa
                                                                              RedDelPaPa  11 hours back

                                                                              We need a generational worldwide 1 child policy. Too many shitty humans consuming and creating too many problems. The consequences caused by their 1 child policy are FAR less than the consequences of allowing people to overpopulate to the level of comparing them to a tin of sardines.

                                                                              • that one guy
                                                                                that one guy  12 hours back

                                                                                Sounds like a gay mans paradise sign me up

                                                                                • Jerry Nemec
                                                                                  Jerry Nemec  12 hours back


                                                                                  • LordF
                                                                                    LordF  12 hours back

                                                                                    We are oh so indignant about China, while conveniently forgetting the various forms of social engineering that we applaud when passed under pretty names in our own countries: "stimulus packages", "affordable housing", "affirmative action", etc.

                                                                                    • Amit Akiwate
                                                                                      Amit Akiwate  12 hours back

                                                                                      Anchor didn't know anything about reality just talking gibberish and carrying forward an agenda and a twisted view.

                                                                                      And for a record, I hate China.

                                                                                      • Samuel Mensah
                                                                                        Samuel Mensah  12 hours back

                                                                                        It’s scary how the two child propaganda said “child bearing age” 💀

                                                                                        • Vincent OuYoung
                                                                                          Vincent OuYoung  12 hours back

                                                                                          interesting 34 mil out of 1.4 billion... also fail to mention the 1 child policy only applies to the ethnic Han majority and not the other 55 ethnic groups China...

                                                                                          • M McDonald
                                                                                            M McDonald  13 hours back

                                                                                            So if my math is right there's 2.4% gender gap in China.
                                                                                            There's also 1.6% gender gap in the United States.
                                                                                            The gap in the UK is 2.7%.
                                                                                            I'm not sure that's the issue.