Finally, after more than three decades of instituting a “one-child policy” per couple, China is moving towards implementing two – child policy as a strategy to address and ageing population.
CNN reported that after China’s New People’s Congress (NPC) approves the two-child policy per couple, the country will start to allow every married couple to have two children comes January 1, 2016. This policy is reversing China’s ill-famed one-child policy, which was the country’s pro-active strategy to curb its rocketing population growth in the 1970’s.
China’s state-run news agency – Xinhua reported that NPC stamped the newly revised Population and Family Planning Law on Sunday. This law reverses and dismantles the country’s harshest infringement into a couple’s privacy, and most internationally-criticized family planning strategy.
At that time then, the government’s propaganda was depicting parents doting an only child, brainwashing parents and even children at school. When the propaganda was not accepted by couples, local officials had to use an iron hand resorting to abortions, heavy fines and forced sterilization. This time around, the new advertisements show a boy not so happily sharing a toy with his younger sister.
The revised population law will now allow a couple to have two children. This law is China’s answer to the impending issue of a population that will no longer be able to supply the needed workers and support to an ageing population.
Meanwhile, the ruling Communist Party maintains its stand on promoting a balanced population growth. The CP issued a statement “To promote a balanced growth of population, China will continue to uphold the basic national policy of population control and improve its strategy on population development.” The two-child policy is seen as the best direction that China will take in achieving this balance.
More than a million couple will be affected in the implementation of this policy, according to Peking University’s sociologist Lu Jiehua.
China is now a nation of more than 1.3 billion people. Yet, the one – child per couple policy it implemented in the 1970s was like a “silver bullet” aimed at the Chinese economy 30 years later. Forward looking to the next 15 years, the Chinese government is faced with the challenge of China becoming the country with the most elderly population on the planet, “with more than 400 million people over the age of 60.”
This is the real “silver bullet” waiting to strike China, the world’s second-largest economy, when its graying population will burden health care and social services, and the country will have to struggle to maintain its growth.
It was in January 2014 that China started its relaxation of the “one-child” policy. The government allowed couples who were an only child to have two children.
The relaxation of the law was welcomed by some couples. However, the released number last January 2015 shows that fewer than expected couples are willing to engage in expanding their family. Health officials reveal that an estimated 11 million couple are eligible to have two children. However, state media reported that barely a million people have applied to have a second child.