Summary of China Wants Its People to Have More Children, but It Doesn’t Seem to Be Working

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China Wants Its People to Have More Children, but It Doesn’t Seem to Be Working summary
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China’s one-child policy – which was in place for almost half a century – violated Chinese citizens’ human rights, argues Li Huafang, reporting for tech media platform But, he adds, even in terms of their utilitarian and economic value, they were simply bad policies. As a result, China is heading toward a quagmire of its own making. Today, China has an aging population, a gender imbalance and a declining birth rate. To combat these issues, China has done an about-face and now encourages people to have children – with less than impressive results. Li discusses why young couples are hesitant to have babies and suggests alternative solutions to the challenges China’s demographics present.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why China – after decades of restrictive fertility policies – is now reversing course,
  • Why developed countries find it hard to increase their fertility rates and
  • How the Chinese government can address the country’s aging problem.

About the Author

Li Huafang is a columnist, book reviewer, and researcher at the SIFL Institute.



In 2000, the Chinese government began loosening its one-child policy: If both husband and wife were only children, the family was permitted to have a second child. In 2013, the Chinese government allowed families to have two children even if just one parent was an only child. Another three years later, the government introduced a “comprehensive two-child” policy, allowing all Chinese citizens to have two children. Soon, the Chinese government may abolish all restrictions: Chinese people will be able to have as many children as they want. In fact, the government might even start offering incentives for having more children. A number of provincial governments are already mulling such options.

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