China Considers Ending Birth Limits – as early as 2018

China Considers Ending Birth Limits – as early as 2018

Why this matter Despite counter measures, China, the worlds most populous nations' population is shrinking. It's no secret that many countries f

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Why this matter

Despite counter measures, China, the worlds most populous nations’ population is shrinking.

It’s no secret that many countries face looming demographics problems as their populations age.  And quite a bit has been said about the likes of Japan, Germany, and Italy, which have the largest percentages of their populations aged upward of 65 .

But another country also deserves attention: China.

China reportedly plans to scrap existing limits on the number of children a family can have.  According to sources familiar with this matter, this would bring to a historic end, a policy that threatens the world’s second-largest economy with a shortage of workers.

The State Council, China’s cabinet, has commissioned research on the repercussions of ending the country’s roughly four-decade-old policy and intends to enact the change nationwide.  Under discussion, are proposals to replace the population-control policy with one dubbed the “independent fertility,” allowing people to decide how many children to have.   This change of policy may be made as early as quarter four of 2018.

Chinas’ – Two-Child Policy

Family values are sacred

Chinese Two Child Policy being Revised Q4 2018

Three years ago, the  one family one child policy was shelved for a two-children family policy. The 2015 policy shift toward a two-child policy was part of a gradual effort to loosen the birth limits over the years as China’s working-age population began to wane.

Transition to a “independent fertility, policy” would bring to a close one of the largest social experiments in human history.  The policies which forced generations of Chinese parents to pay fines, submit to abortions or raise children in the shadows, left the world’s most-populous country with a rapidly aging population and a nation-wide gender imbalance,  –30 million more men than women – and with millions of unregistered girls.

An initial feasibility study was submitted to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in April, found there would be “limited” benefits to lifting birth restrictions nationwide. Li has since requested more research on the social impact of scrapping the policy altogether.

Reportedly, such a change of policy will have minimal effect on the number of newborns in China,” said Huang Wenzheng, a specially-invited senior researcher of Center for China and Globalization, a Beijing-based think tank.”Particularly following the sharp decrease in the number of fertile women and declining fertility willingness.”

“China’s working-age population began to wane.”

Still, the move underscores growing concern among Chinese policy makers that more dramatic action is needed three years after allowing all families to have two children instead of one. Births fell 3.5 percent to 17.2 million nationwide last year, according to the Bureau of National Statistics, erasing almost half of the increase in births caused by relaxing the policy.

Recently, state media applauded parents in Shandong for producing more children than any other province in 2017. It called their fecundity “daring”

Experts say . “China’s population issues will be a major hurdle for President Xi Jinping’s vision of building a modernized country by 2035.”

— With assistance by Dandan Li, Keith Zhai, Andrew Davis, and Hui Li

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