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Current Affairs

China relaxes its two-child policy

Date: 02 June 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

The Chinese government has decided to implement three-child per couple policy in its latest decision to tackle population slowdown.

 

Background

The recently released decade census had shown that China was witnessing population slowdown faster than expected and the two-child policy cannot give desired results.

 

Details

  • The one-child policy of the government was imposed in 1980 and remained until 2016 when the current regime scrapped it.

  • The reason was the rapid decline in population that could also hamper the decades of high growth in its economy.

  • The recent data showed that the two child policy is not enough to avert the demographic crisis that China is expected to face.

  • There are still doubts regarding the success of the new measures as high cost of living and long working hours have been preventing couples from having children.

 

Reasons for the one-child policy

  • The regime was concerned that high population would prevent China from achieving economic progress.

  • The government imposed measures such as incentivising couples for single child, punishing people for violation and making contraception widely available.

  • The policy was concerned a violation of human rights as majority of sufferers were poor sections. Rich people could pay compensation for violating the policy.

  • The policy resulted in skewed sex ratio towards males as more abortion of female foetuses took place in order to conceive a male child.

  • The one child policy has been blamed for ageing of the population, affecting long time growth. China will need other measures to supplement economic growth.

 

Effects of one-child policy

  • The population growth has fallen by a whopping 18 percent in comparison to previous year. The fertility rate has also dropped below 1.3.

  • Some estimates say that China may lose its most populous country tag to India in next 1 or 2 years if the population keeps falling.

 

Scepticism about three-child policy

  • Relaxing two child policy will not be enough in reversing a trend towards positive rates. There is also cultural reason behind it.

  • Rising cost of living, supporting ageing parents and working for long hours have created a shift in mentality.

  • People are now content with a single child even if government has removed restrictions. Some couples have decided against having children at all.