This week on Last Week Tonight, John Oliver turned his attention to China, “the country that is, not the thing you fill a cabinet with when you run out of human needs.”
According to Oliver, the one-child policy took a massive effort at national and local level and included forced sterilizations and abortions as well as incessant propaganda. Much of the messaging centered on the suggestion that people have fewer children of higher quality, which Oliver notes is not how children work.
Under the one-child policy, Chinese citizens who had a second child could not register the birth of the child without paying a massive fine. The result is 6.5 million Chinese with no official status, rendering many of them unable to marry or work. Oliver says it’s like someone is “a ghost without the fun parts of being a ghost like rattling chains, summoning cold winds, or making terrible ceramics while having sex with Demi Moore.”
But now, as China faces an aging and shrinking population and a declining birth rate, the government has enacted a two-child policy complete with a new wave of propaganda. “I haven’t seen a messaging turn around that abrupt since Subway changed their slogan from ‘eat fresh’ to ‘forget that pedophile’,” Oliver joked.
See the video above.