China Ends Its One-Child Policy

China Ends Its One-Child Policy
baby in red josh / Flickr CC BY 2.0
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China will bring its one-child policy to an end.


Couples can now have two children, according to a statement from the Communist Party. The policy, which was introduced and implemented in 1979, was to slow the growth rate; it is believed to have prevented around 400 million births.

The change came after concerns were raised regarding China’s aging population. Nevertheless, the ban remains on larger families, although Chinese academics called for complete freedom. Jonathan Fenby, a China veteran at Trusted Sources, said, “They have merely moved to a two-child policy. The family planning authorities are still there, and there is still an apparatus of state power intruding into people’s intimate lives.”

It was in 2012 when the workforce started being impacted, the Telegraph reports. Since then, the workforce has been experiencing a downslide of 3 million people each year. It is estimated that there will be a labor shortage of almost 140 million people by 2030s.

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The statement from the Community Party’s Central Committee said the two child policy came into being “to improve the balanced development of population,” as reported by the Xinhua News Agency. At present, the population of China stands at 1.36 billion, with 30 percent of its people being over 50 years.

The rules were first brought into effect two years ago, when the Communist Party said couples in which at least one of the parents was an only child could have a second child.

The fertility rate has slumped to 1.4, according to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The same statistic for Shanghai has reached as low as 0.8. One of the reasons cited for this is that having children is expensive. “Working couples can’t afford private hospital costs, childcare and kindergartens,” Fenby said.

Juliana Liu, who was born in the year the one-child policy was brought into effect, said her mother had to have abortions after she was born, BBC reports. “As a result of the policy, my mother had to endure two abortions. Even today, she talks about ‘Number Two’ and ‘Number Three’ and what they might have been like.”

Stuart Gietel-Basten, associate professor of social policy at the University of Oxford, wrote for the Conversation that the new change is nothing but a “pragmatic response to an unpopular policy that made no sense.”