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The one-child policy is the population control policy of the People's Republic of China. It restricts urban couples to only one child, while allowing additional children in several cases, including twins, rural couples, ethnic minorities, and couples who are both only children themselves. In 2007, according to a spokesman of the Committee on the One-Child Policy, approximately 35.9% of China's population was subject to a one-child restriction. The Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau are exempt from the policy. Also exempt from this law are foreigners living in China. This policy was introduced in 1978 and initially applied from 1979. It was created by the Chinese government to alleviate social, economic, and environmental problems in China, and authorities claim that the policy has prevented more than 250 million births between 1980 and 2000, and 400 million births from about 1979 to 2011; this claim is disputed by two independent scholars, who put the number of prevented births from 1979 to 2009 at 100 million. The policy is controversial both within and outside China because of the manner in which the policy has been implemented, and because of concerns about negative social consequences. The policy has been implicated in an increase in forced abortions, female infanticide, and underreporting of female births, and has been suggested as a possible cause behind China's sex imbalance. Nonetheless, a 2008 survey undertaken by the Pew Research Center reported that 76% of the Chinese population supports the policy. (via Freebase)