The harsh one-child rule has been in place for the past 35 years
After 35 years of enforcing their harsh one-child rule, China are finally scrapping it to try and tackle the massive gender imbalance in the country.
The state-run Xinhua news agency have announced that all couples will now be allowed to have two children, citing a statement from the Communist Party.
The Chinese Government estimates it has prevented 400 million births over the years, but because having a son is so highly favoured over having a daughter, there are currently 33 million more men than women in China. It’s believed that millions of Chinese men will never find female partners as a result.
Officials have been worried about the pool of working-age Chinese young people decreasing every year, while the retirement-aged population grows. Surprisingly, peoples’ reactions on Weibo – China’s answer to Facebook – have been mostly negative.
One user states, ‘How many women would have to give birth to second children under the pressure of their husbands’ families? Then it would be hard to get a promotion at work, they might face the risk of losing their job. The future family resources might benefit boys more and girls lose their privileges as in single-child families. As a woman I don’t think this is good news.’
Another commented, ‘This has nothing to do with opening up to all couples or not. Those who can’t afford having second children definitely won’t have second children, while those who can afford will go and have second children anyway, no matter what the policy is.’
This is the second time China has relaxed its one-child policy. In 2013, the government allowed only-children, rural families with first-born girls and ethnic minority couples to have a second child. Despite this, in 2014 just over a million families applied to have a second child (pictured), whereas the population of China is roughly 1.3 billion.
Senior family planning official Yang Wenzhuang explains, ‘At the moment, many people are not willing to have more children, even if they are encouraged to do so. So in reality the government introducing the two-child policy still won’t have much of an impact.’