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.

    Connect with Last Week Tonight online...

    Subscribe to the Last Week Tonight YouTube channel for more almost news as it almost happens:

    Find Last Week Tonight on Facebook like your mom would:

    Follow us on Twitter for news about jokes and jokes about news:

    Visit our official site for all that other stuff at once:
  • Entertainment Entertainment

Comments • 12 480

  • Bob Crull
    Bob Crull  15 minutes back

    So, the implementation was flawed. But, would China, or the world, have been better off by allowing unfettered population growth? 300 million more people putting natural resource demands on a planet that’s already seeing it’s life support system slowly destroyed by the existing planet’s population. One can argue that this policy lead to much less suffering than the alternative. Humanity ignores the human population explosion and its consequences at great peril to its long term existence.

    • Shang Chen
      Shang Chen  45 minutes back

      They dont enforce that, it will be even worse

      • Keller Corrield
        Keller Corrield  45 minutes back

        At 4:43 why does that feel like the kinda joke Dan O'Brien wrote?

        • William Wei
          William Wei  6 hours back

          That's some seriously deceptive framing and misinformation there.... good job John Oliver.

        • M Z
          M Z  7 hours back

          another layer of irony: chinese government has great shortage on pension. people at 20s are warned to save for retirement, at the age of 40s, they have to take care of four parents probably without pensions.

          • Hello There
            Hello There  8 hours back

            India does the same thing today, I a different way. Its not government enforced. Because of their dowry culture, females have less value to an expectant parent. The mothers suffocate, break babys neck or poison the milk when female child is born. Its common place and no one goes to jail. Its similiar to how we use abortion here in the US.

            • Franco Suarez
              Franco Suarez  10 hours back

              It would be tremendously helpful to Make AmeriKKKa Great Again, if you could dedicate a show to the war on men and fathers, who are being dehumanized by draconian laws enabling vicious women to express their best expression of maliciousness, by passing as victimized women who only commoditize their children and abuse them emotionally as a matter of practice and law, during divorce and custody decisions without legal consequences or social stigma. The one child policy seems sensible in comparison to the harm done by women, lawyers and government officials pretending to do "what is best for the children, like driving their fathers to suicide, bankruptcy, paternal alienation and emotional disorders brought about by vagina privileged and empowered narcissists women. This hostile environment against men is probably the reason so many men are becoming transexuals to get some equality, and so many others are justifying the reasonable response of Jack The Ripper to the feminists of his time.

              • danraz0r Alice
                danraz0r Alice  11 hours back

                yo wassup $2967.36

                • Yao Shi
                  Yao Shi  11 hours back

                  Hoping that laugh at China’s old policy would bring you guys peace, prosperity and joy. China is simply one of the countries that believes in another value than US or most of the western countries . China happens to be a convenient target to laugh about especially when it becoming a new superpower that would shake the dominant position of Caucasian Westerners countries. I totally understand that, really. However, Love & Peace. Luckily we believe in these as well.

                  • Shaheed Abdulhaqq
                    Shaheed Abdulhaqq  12 hours back

                    China has over 1 billion people in it. The thing not addressed is what would China look like with people having unrestricted numbers of children for the last 40 years. With the population they have now, they already face incredibly difficult environmental challenges and by extension so does the planet. The CO2 China produces doesn't stay in China. The fact of the matter is this entire world has a population problem. Our oceans are being rapidly depleted of fish, our forests are being cleared at astonishingly fast rates, entire species are being lost due to habitat loss to make space for the demands of the human race, and the list goes on. All the signs of environment collapse are right in front of us. And it is all due to the fact that there are too many of us and we all want to consume too much.

                    • Rebecca Antonucci
                      Rebecca Antonucci  14 hours back

                      It's definitely flawed, but China shouldn't be the only country trying to place a lid on overpopulation. People keep ignoring it, there's not going to be a livable world for our children. And far be it for me to tell a different culture to change their traditions, but if your country's having this many problems with the disparity between men and women all because you think men are better than women? Maybe rethink that a bit? I love the differences and individuality between various cultures, but as it goes in life, sometimes you have to change and evolve. Especially when it comes to survival. That is the whole point.

                      • Rebecca Antonucci
                        Rebecca Antonucci  14 hours back

                        Oh no John, they made you say "pedophile" with the American accent? Hell no, I love the way you guys say it!

                        • rubycelica
                          rubycelica  16 hours back

                          but there ARE too many people in the world... why not cut off the children number on welfare queens?

                          • binwusmi binwusmi
                            binwusmi binwusmi  19 hours back

                            Two facts. When I was little, I always fished in a river behind our house. One day I saw a paper bag floating down. I used the fishing rod to poke it open. I saw small legs. My mum told me not to tell people. Our neighbor last night dropped their baby girl as they already had two girls. Second, my well-off friend refused to use credit due to fear of leaving tracks as he had three girls and his wife worked at a government sponsored school.

                            • Ken M3ng
                              Ken M3ng  21 hours back

                              Sad to see this:
                              The west: Now we have to control the human population.
                              China: ok then.
                              Also the west: One child policy is unethical.
                              Typical hypocrites.

                              • Yan Andre
                                Yan Andre  21 hours back

                                I was born 1980s. At my age, I already lost 2 of my best friends. They both died in accidents. One girl whose parents are workers and of course she is the only child of family, the other boy whose parents are farmers and he has 2 sisters. The girl's parents divorced after her death and the boy's parents live with their elder daughter. That's a big difference due to the one child policy. That's the most heart breaking part of this stupid/policy. Now it's 2 children policy, and I really think GOV did it just to save the house market and suck more blood from people. Obviously, 2 children consume double houses.

                                • MrAsap2000as
                                  MrAsap2000as  21 hours back

                                  Lol, it hilarious how everything always come back to racism and sexism with you liberals.

                                  No matter how much you dislike the policy, it was not inherently sexist, it just population control, THAT'S IT. This affects BOTH parents, not just women.

                                  It was the people who chose sons over daughters cuz historically, it is the sons who carry on the name and provided for the family, ESPECIALLY since women were married and became part of her husband's families. You can call it historical or even societal sexism if you want but it had nothing directly to do with the policy.

                                  • MrAsap2000as
                                    MrAsap2000as  21 hours back

                                    God bless China, they get things done and solve problems.

                                    • James
                                      James  22 hours back

                                      If we wanna defeat China we have to introduce the gay into their population. While they are all sucking down Apple Martinis and dancing to house music, we wipe their economy

                                      • Siris The Dragon
                                        Siris The Dragon  22 hours back

                                        Fucking China still calling itself "communist" when its people work for corporations, are payed salaries and live in economic disparity. Its almost like socialism doesn't work when you don't even try it at all.

                                        • Dan Cicon
                                          Dan Cicon  23 hours back

                                          2 weeks later and no LWTwJO.

                                          • Al G
                                            Al G  24 hours back

                                            John Oliver's remarks about sex dolls make great sense. He seems to have lots of experience with such dolls and toys LoL

                                            • Loretta Compher
                                              Loretta Compher  1 days back

                                              Allow amnesty for all the girl non-citizens, give them citizenship, and bingo, more girls on the market.

                                              • Bollox Off
                                                Bollox Off  1 days back

                                                Is this meant to be funny? Audience are laughing for no reason. Theres no jokes and ppl are lol.

                                                • Bollox Off
                                                  Bollox Off  2 hours back

                                                  @Rafael Willems u must laugh at shit also.

                                                • Rafael Willems
                                                  Rafael Willems  2 hours back

                                                  Brains Off . Excuse me sir while I laugh at this guy.

                                              • Abdallah DZ7
                                                Abdallah DZ7  1 days back

                                                Thank god i saw the video because if i didnt i wouldnt understand all those winnie the pooh memes

                                                • 孙颖
                                                  孙颖  1 days back

                                                  To be fair population crisis was seen as real science & challenge for human beings to survive back at the time when one child policy was introduced, just like global warming today. Retrospectively of course everybody can make fun of it.

                                                  • Tadesan
                                                    Tadesan  1 days back

                                                    It sucks to be lonely.

                                                    • Ryan Sam
                                                      Ryan Sam  1 days back

                                                      Damn you killed it! Nice job YT for recommending something that is actually GOOD!

                                                      • Josh Lau
                                                        Josh Lau  1 days back

                                                        One child policy leads to man more than woman? 34M is merely moving the ratio to 49:51, where did u school?

                                                        • Melissa White
                                                          Melissa White  1 days back

                                                          Ohh John the Diva Cup is real and now the image of Marah drinking out of one is hilarious and gross.

                                                          • Alexander Schmoldt
                                                            Alexander Schmoldt  1 days back

                                                            john oliver and last week tonight starting out badly again.

                                                            like leftist feminism like

                                                            how is this massivly consequential policy? mao great leap forward 30 millions starved in 5 years. but the 1 child policy disadvantage girls and women, they can push feminism with it, and how badly the socialist great leap forward was we dont mention cause this would help the left.
                                                            further more undercutting that somethig needs to be done or china would be like india and india seems breaking, and both was social engineering society big time, but that cannot be pointed out cause this would again not help the left.

                                                            my roommate is chinese and said that the difficulty with "numbers like 34million men" is that its never clear when those numbers are mentioned if these are the officila numbers, or actually counted men, cause there are a lot of women with no registry, so it could be way less.

                                                            what alarmist are warning from over population, did i miss a memo? saying that africa isnt increasing and reaching 2 billion in the next 3 decades or south east asia and india still eploding? arent there alarmist already running around telling everyon not to get children in sweden and other north american and european country now? so the overpopulation hystria was unjustified then but is rightly so now? and of course who is at fault men. not the people on individual trait, but by there genitals some would say its sexist but well.

                                                            expert should stay in their lane? like some comedian who always claims he is a comedian but make a show like a news show. and just had show about bias in medicine where he deliberatly miscrafted connections and studies? or well like someone from the humanities goign for genderstudies telling medical and biological experts what gender is?

                                                            and again misrepresenting quality even if socialstudies have shown that fewer children make parents spent more time education and money on them thereby raising them better on most variables.

                                                            funny how he thinks he has to defend abortion. funny as he mentioned how its about who is incontrol of the process. cause its only about the mother, cause as we know lesbians are getting pregnant from each other cause no men involved, no doctors or nurses involved, and of course the unborn doesnt matter, cause you can be anti forced abortion and pro chocie when the only think that matters is control and the women. but dont take it from me a male and a doctor go look for some one with a humanities degree and some knowledge in gender studies.
                                                            in canada which is always held up as the holy grail by pro choice people, about 5000 late term abortion happen, the reason may vary but it everytime means an unborn has to be killed inside the womb, cause it cannot come out alive, therefor doctors make the heart stop and than get the child out afterwards. sometimes its medical reason of the mother (less than 5%) in othertimes is unclear why the wome want it. but tell why would you let a doctor and a woman if they agree on it kill a child inside the uterus if it could be born alive and given up for adoption or else.

                                                            • ZeTheGamer
                                                              ZeTheGamer  1 days back

                                                              Ironically, Chinese men stare with obvious seething hatred when they
                                                              see a "foreigner" with a Chinese wife.
                                                              They make comments on "race traitors", etc.....yet they can only really
                                                              blame themselves and their parents for supporting the idiots who
                                                              created the gender ratio problem.
                                                              This type of behavior is common even in the streets of Shanghai and

                                                              • ZeTheGamer
                                                                ZeTheGamer  1 days back

                                                                Ironically, Chinese men stare with obvious seething hatred when they
                                                                see a "foreigner" with a Chinese wife.
                                                                They make comments on "race traitors", etc.....yet they can only really
                                                                blame themselves and their parents for supporting the idiots who
                                                                created the gender ratio problem.
                                                                This type of behavior is common even in the streets of Shanghai and

                                                                • ZeTheGamer
                                                                  ZeTheGamer  1 days back

                                                                  Ironically, in Chinese men stare with obvious seething hatred when they see a "foreigner" with a Chinese wife.
                                                                  They make comments on "race traitors", etc.....yet they can only really blame themselves and their parents for supporting the idiots who creative the gender ratio problem.
                                                                  This type of behavior is common even in the streets of Shanghai and Beijing.

                                                                  • Saya Shen
                                                                    Saya Shen  1 days back

                                                                    Raising the country's economic prospect ≠ hold onto power, ok?
                                                                    It means fewer child starved, better living standard for everyone in society. You just assume the intention of every Chinese policy seems to be to grab onto power, don't you? You got that as your conclusion then look for evidence. That why you always got and distorted view of those problems. Also, when translating the answers of Chinese people, don't add things they didn't say in the clip to fit your narrative. It's so lame.

                                                                    • destini miss
                                                                      destini miss  1 days back

                                                                      Even with 2 children policy,there will be not enough women to create a family

                                                                      • Ryno Opperman
                                                                        Ryno Opperman  2 days back

                                                                        The consciences is really sad and no-one would want that
                                                                        India and China is heading towards 4 Billion people combined...

                                                                        When everyone on is starving cause we tipped the sustainable scale regarding people breeding like there is no tomorrow, which might then be the reason why there is no tomorrow...

                                                                        • aquaticko
                                                                          aquaticko  2 days back

                                                                          Newsflash to everyone--every country--everywhere: ignore and exclude women from your governance at your own peril. Without women, humanity is at most half of what it would be.

                                                                          • zarzarbeast
                                                                            zarzarbeast  2 days back

                                                                            Reminder: John Oliver is not a US Citizen. He is a foreign agent meddling in US elections.

                                                                            • Misty Waters
                                                                              Misty Waters  2 days back

                                                                     forgot to mention to exponentially high dowery that men are expected to pay in order to get married..which has raised to prices that men in rural areas have no hope of affording unless they relocate to the cities. So actually it is more economical to have a daughter due to the ramifications of the 1 child policy

                                                                              • giao giao
                                                                                giao giao  2 days back

                                                                                Can John Oliver tell me more specific , in which exactly provinces, there’s tightening access to abortion? And in what way , by how to make divorcement more difficult? I’m a Chinese and I never see this or heard of this. If you can’t then stop misleading people and read the script whatever others give you .

                                                                                • Dolores de Beauvoir
                                                                                  Dolores de Beauvoir  2 days back

                                                                                  I quit the game of being a single Chinese man by transitioning into a single Chinese trans woman :/

                                                                                  • vdkmdd
                                                                                    vdkmdd  2 days back

                                                                                    China had a choice of massive overpopulation, doubling pollution levels, increased chance on civil unrest, weakened economic progress etc, or the one-child policy and some problems, which are related to the policy but with better other policies, training and rules could have been circumvented. If you look at China nobody will say that the biggest problem is a lack of people.

                                                                                    • Wilfred Darr
                                                                                      Wilfred Darr  2 days back

                                                                                      "in the 60's ands 70's, overpopulation was a global concern with alarmists making apocalyptic predictions..."

                                                                                      In the 40's and 50's wars and earthquakes were signs of the end times, Jesus return was imminent...

                                                                                      In the 80's and 90's we were destroying forests to make paper bags (except we weren't: the forests that were destroyed were destroyed to make way for farming, had nothing to do with "paper or plastic", the forests that were harvested for pulp and paper were replanted and are today being harvested for "compostable bags" (very green... ).

                                                                                      Yes yes I know "but that's totally different than climate change because the sky really is falling this time!"
                                                                                      Every generation has its 16 year old girl, whether Joan of Arc or Greta Thunberg that people feel compelled to follow to fulfill whatever religious fantasy they hold to.

                                                                                      • scorpionbeware
                                                                                        scorpionbeware  2 days back

                                                                                        looking at the population explosion since the last few decades, in next few decades the whole world will be required to have a one-child policy so that mother earth remains prosperous and beautiful

                                                                                        • Rafael Willems
                                                                                          Rafael Willems  2 hours back

                                                                                          Wow you really understood this. Look again Great Mind: 1 child now means in 2 generations 1 child has to take care of 2 parents, 4 grandparents and 1 child of his or her own - except for working of course.

                                                                                      • EmberFlower
                                                                                        EmberFlower  2 days back

                                                                                        It would be great if everyone chose to only have 1 or, at most, 2 children. But it must be a choice. You just can't force this. 7:35 except this is exactly how it works. With less children parent has more time and resources (financial and emotional) for it and that does make a big difference. As for fatness, it's not because they were only children but because their parents were unwise in how they fed them. Having more kids would not make them wiser. As for everything else... yea, fuck China.

                                                                                        • phookadude
                                                                                          phookadude  2 days back

                                                                                          When Chinese manufacturers in cities were looking for laborers they went into the countryside to hire people and they took mostly young women because young women can be housed with fewer problems than young men. This magnified the lack of marriageable women in faming communities even more.

                                                                                          • Edward Chapman
                                                                                            Edward Chapman  2 days back

                                                                                            China is going to rule the world solely out of this stupid policy and the subsequent sexual frustrations