The Chinese government has loosened its ‘one child’ policy and allow married Chinese couple to have two children.
While many people have speculated that they have had a change of heart, Steven Mosher who is the President of the Population Research Institute says this isn’t accurate.
“The regime is backing away from draconian birth limits,” says Mosher,, “not because senior Party officials have suddenly developed a conscience. Rather, it will be because they have finally realized that a shrinking workforce and a rapidly aging population are crippling future economic growth.”
China’s workforce has been shrinking for the past two years by 3.71 million due to an aging over-sixty population. U.N. projections speculate that this number will double by 2050. China is therefore in the dilemma of growing old before growing rich, and this puts a strain on pension programs.
China now realizes that it must stop restricting childbirth and begin encouraging it if it hopes to see the workforce increase. However, they are faced with an additional challenge of not abandoning policy claiming that it was a mistake. It would be cause to question the regime’s legitimacy.
The effects of the One Child Policy has caused fertility rates to plummet over thirty years. Sex-selective abortion has become prevalent as male children are highly desired in Chinese culture. This has resulted in the deaths of millions of unborn baby girls.
China’s Ministry of Health estimates that in 2013, 336 million babies were aborted over this population control program. 13 million abortions occur in China annually which equates to 1,500 lives lost per hour.
Chinese President, Xi Jinping, sought to change the policy in 2013 and it was announced that couples wherein both the husband and wife were only children would be allowed to have a second child following the birth of their first. Interestingly enough, though, the response was underwhelming as few couples applied for the second birth “permit”.
Mosher warns that new couples will be allowed to have a second child, but not to expect the government’s interference to end there. He notes that a government intent on controlling fertility will do whatever necessary to produce the amount of children necessary. The One Child Policy is a phase in a larger Planned Birth campaign in a country which controls the population in much the same way that it controls the number of tanks, power plant, etc that it builds each year.
If the Chinese couples fail to reproduce enough children according to the state, childbearing will become mandatory. Women will be forcibly inseminated, have regular pelvic exams to monitor pregnancies, and abortion will be forbidden.
Unless this Planned Birth Policy is abandoned and couples are free to choose the amount of children they would like to have, many abuses will continue in China.