What happened to China's one-child policy

Because of a rapidly aging society : China is preparing to end the two-child policy

In response to its rapidly aging society, China is considering lifting the two-child policy. The draft for a new civil code, which was presented to the Standing Committee of the People's Congress this week, no longer contains regulations on family planning, the state news agency Xinhua reported on Tuesday. This takes account of the “changing demographic situation”.

If the legal text is passed as planned in 2020, all restrictions would have to be lifted by then at the latest, other media concluded. Because of its aging society, China announced the end of the decades-long one-child policy three years ago. Since then, parents have been allowed to have two children.

The end of the one-child policy did not result in a baby boom

However, this first step did not lead to the hoped-for baby boom. In view of high rents and expensive schooling, many couples fear that they will not be able to afford a second child. According to official figures, 17.9 million babies were born in 2016, only 1.3 million more than in the previous year and thus significantly fewer than the government had expected. Last year, the number of newborns fell to 17.2 million. According to statistics from the World Bank, a woman in China has an average of 1.6 children - too few to keep the population stable.

“I can't have any more children because I'm too old. Why is this law only being changed now? ”Commented a user of the Chinese short message service Weibo on Thursday. Another user wrote: “Government-directed family planning is a violation of human rights. At first we are only allowed to have one child, then suddenly there should be as many as possible. "

Birth control has always been hotly debated

Speculations about a further weakening of the birth policy had already surfaced in recent weeks after a new state postage stamp for the year of the pig was presented, which according to the Chinese lunar calendar begins next February: The stamp shows a drawing of a pig family with mother, Father and three little piglets. The official brand for the current Year of the Dog, on the other hand, shows a family of dogs with only two puppies.

The strict one-child policy was introduced in 1979. The aim was to feed the growing gigantic people and protect the scarce resources. According to official figures, an estimated 300 million more people would live in China today without strict family policies.

There has been gradual relaxation over the years

The birth control has always been highly controversial because of its strict implementation with forced abortions until late in pregnancy and other interventions in people's lives. There has been gradual easing over the years. Because of the traditional preference for boys, farmers who had had a girl first were allowed to try again to get a male line owner. Some Chinese also found ways to circumvent the restrictions. Those who had enough money often simply paid the fines that are imposed on a second child. The height was different depending on the region. (dpa)

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