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

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

Huxiu,

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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 Huxiu.com. 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.

Summary

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.

Given that the overall birth rate has been in continual decline in China, the total pool of working laborers is shrinking while the number of elderly retirees is increasing. Fewer workers will have to...

About the Author

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


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