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Page added on October 31, 2012

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Time up for one child policy in China

Public Policy

A top government think tank has suggested that China gradually loosen its one child policy to correct population-related imbalances now plaguing its ageing society. It is one issue that the new generation of leaders in China, who will soon take over the reins of the most populous nation in the world, might have to take a call sooner than later: whether to reverse its one child policy and allow willing Chinese couples to have more than one?

Advice is close at hand. The government-affiliated China Development Research Foundation (CDRF) has said if the policy was not reversed then problems in population structure, quality and distribution will become increasingly visible and will have a profound impact on China’s future social and economic development.

The report was clear in its message: the time is over for Chinese couple to have one child and gradually over the next three years, by 2015, the government should allow couples to have more than one child.

And by 2020, there will be no need for birth planning at all as citizens will make rational choices on having babies, CDRF added in the report.

“China’s population situation is quite different from that of 30 years ago, when a family planning policy that limited the majority of urban families to one child took effect,” the report was quoted by state-run Xinhua as saying.

“The report said the population is heading for negative growth and an ultra-low fertility rate, as well as faces issues related to aging, gender imbalances, urbanisation, an expanding shortage of migrant workers and an only-child generation.”

The world’s fertility rate is 2.7, compared to China’s 1.5. A fertility rate lower than 1.5 means the next generation will have 30 percent fewer people than the previous one.

Beijing and Shanghai, currently more than 20 million people live in the two cities, possibly have the lowest fertility rates in the world.

The implementation of the policy had reduced the pressure created by a rapidly rising population, made contributions to economic growth and helped improve population quality, it said.

“However, China has paid a huge political and social cost for the policy, as it has resulted in social conflict, high administrative costs and led indirectly to a long-term gender imbalance at birth,” the report said.

The report also pointed out the aging population and the fact that China’s “demographic dividend” has already ended will pose a severe challenge for the country’s future development.

“This means China cannot rely on an unlimited labor supply for its future economic development, but must instead boost its total factor productivity (TFP),” Cai Fang, director of the Institute of Population and Labor Economics under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told state media.


8 Comments on "Time up for one child policy in China"

  1. GregT on Wed, 31st Oct 2012 11:33 pm 

    Perpetual growth cannot continue indefinitely on a finite planet. We can choose to stop growth on our own, or allow the environment to do it for us.

    While neither choice will allow us to continue on with business as usual, one has a much better future than the other.

  2. DC on Thu, 1st Nov 2012 1:33 am 

    Wow, an article from a hindu whining about China not having enough people! Too funny….

  3. Others on Thu, 1st Nov 2012 1:38 am 

    They should also look from resource point of view. Already China is going for war with Japan for resources. Imagine if they loosen the 1 child policy and its population grows fast.

  4. BillT on Thu, 1st Nov 2012 1:44 am 

    Economic growth is over for all countries. It is tied to energy and energy is decreasing. The proof is the fact that oil production now adds moonshine to the mix. Soon they will be counting cooking oil, rubbing alcohol and anything else that is liquid and will burn. If you are intelligent, you have or are already adjusting your life accordingly. Get ready for the day the family car(s) are gone and things like A/C and flying to visit grandma is a luxury again.

  5. Kenz300 on Thu, 1st Nov 2012 1:58 pm 

    Endless population growth is not sustainable. It only leads to more poverty, suffering and despair.

    Every country needs to develop a plan to balance its population with its resources, food, water, energy and jobs. Those that do not will be exporting their populations and their problems.

    Access to family planning services needs to be available to all that want it.

  6. SilentRunning on Thu, 1st Nov 2012 6:57 pm 

    Rather than ending the China One Child policy – it should be a model for aggressive population reduction world wide – until human population is about 1 billion people. Only at that point would it be replaced by a 2 child policy.

  7. SilentRunning on Thu, 1st Nov 2012 6:58 pm 

    One more thing – an “aging population” is far, far better than a “starving population”.

  8. JoeC on Wed, 14th Nov 2012 2:19 am 

    The problem with an aging population is that there are too many elderly to take care of and it puts a strain on the economic system. The elderly would end up dieing. I find it ironic that the same elderly that supported the one child policy will probably die of neglect as they will have no children to care for them. In the US we have a similar problem. The same generation that gave us abortion will be euthenized by the children of their childrens peers.

    For a robust economy people should be free to have as many children as they want. People who think the world is overpopulated live in huge cities. They barely understand that there is a lot of room. And also a lot of resources. There will always be light, wind, ocean currents for energy. We are always an innovative step away from making things a whole lot easier for everyone on the planet. Finally, there were those that said the world was overpopulated in the 1700’s. Today we have the same issue some goof thinks the world is just too little and fragile, so they want everyone to suffer a world without children. China is learning the hard way. Lucky for the rest of us and we should learn from thier mistakes.

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