Wow! China “eases” one-child policy

I’ve been hearing for years that this was possible, but I didn’t expect to see it:  the Chinese government will now “allow” some of its citizens to bear up to two children.

From Reuters:

Couples in which one parent is an only child will now be able to have a second child, one of the highlights of a sweeping raft of reforms announced three days after the ruling Communist Party ended a meeting that mapped out policy for the next decade.

Besides being an outrageous assault on human dignity, the government’s decades-long one child policy has led to economic disaster, with no where near enough young people to support and care for aging parents, or to keep the economy in general growing.

Worse, because of a cultural preference for boys, baby girls are aborted or abandoned at a horrifying rate. According to the Reuters article,  “About 118 boys are born for every 100 girls, against a global average of 103-107 boys per 100 girls.”  In a country with a population of 1.354 billion, that is a lot of dead baby girls.

And of course there are so many horror stories of women being legally beaten, tortured and forcibly aborted for the crime of getting pregnant twice.   I know you have seen them; I can’t bring myself to search for them now.

I hope and pray that we will see fewer of these stories, although I am sure that any change will be small and gradual.  What a hellish perversion of governance the one-child policy has been.



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  • Mariana Baca

    It is a very minor change. Prior to this, the rule was if both parents were only children they could have two children. Or if you were from an ethnic minority you could have more children.

    The policy is still the same: the government decides how many children you can have.

  • Kelly

    The Chinese government already allowed some of its citizens to have more than one child. Ethnic minorities have been exempted for years, and people in rural areas could have a second child if their first was a girl. Married couples who were both only children could have two children. I think this article does a fair job of laying that out. My reaction is pretty much “”It’s not a huge reform, there have been small adjustments all along,” said Liang Zhongtang, a demographer from the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.”

    This change will have a pretty significant effect since the first wave of only children are starting to marry and have children. But I think most people don’t really know that the “one child policy” already had a lot of exceptions.

    Also, the abandonment of healthy infant girls has dramatically declined with industrialization. The placement of healthy infant girls for international adoption is down to a trickle a year, and they are usually from two or three poor agricultural provinces. Most of the abandoned children now have special needs because of the high rate of pollution and boys are abandoned at the same rate as girls. Poverty is really at the root of all abandonment. You can’t afford to keep a girl if you lose the family farm by not having a male heir, and you abandon a baby who will die without surgery if you can’t pay cash up front.

  • AshleyWB

    “Besides being an outrageous assault on human dignity, the government’s decades-long one child policy has led to economic disaster, with no where near enough young people to support and care for aging parents, or to keep the economy in general growing.”

    Economic disaster? China has the fastest-growing economy in the world, and has for most of the last three decades. Your statement that they don’t have enough young people “to keep the economy in general growing” is completely untrue. They’ve averaged over 10% growth since the late seventies.

    • Dan F.

      Their growth is entirely due to western desire for cheaper goods and extremely cheap credit supported by government. The Chinese government has been overspending for decades and the long term economic effects of population control measures are only just beginning to manifest

      • IRVCath

        Precisely. The present situation is economically unsustainable. Don’t believe me, ask the Japanese. They persisted too long on the same model, and their economy has been floundering for at least a decade. Just because you have 10% growth doesn’t mean it will stay that way forever.

        • $1028912

          Their economy has been foundering for more than a decade, but it’s a stretch to call it “the same model” as China’s, though there are some similarities. A low birthrate is a problem for Japan, too, but you can’t blame Japanese government policy for that. People freely choose not to reproduce.

  • richard

    They are also taking steps to abolish their labor camp system.

  • Samit newsforkid

    Hi A balanced report on the one child policy . Ultimately the government decides on the number of children you can have . I also wrote on this article from a young adult perspective