Feb 21, 2019 | Updated: 08:27 AM EST

China Bids Farewell to One-child Policy

Oct 30, 2015 12:22 AM EDT


After more than three decades, China finally decided to bid farewell to its one-child policy. Now, families can have two children, according to a report by Xinhua News Agency.

It was 35 years ago when the People's Republic promulgated the law to control the surge of population growth with a rough estimate of 400 million births prevented. But now, the increasing number of the older population is giving in to worry.

The country will "fully implement a policy of allowing each couple to have two children as an active response to an ageing population," a statement carried out by the official Xinhua News Agency from the Central Committee of the Communist Party. "The change of policy is intended to balance population development and address the challenge of an ageing population."

Presently, China has an estimated 1.36 billion people. Thirty per cent of which belong to the older population that is 50 years old and above. There are, however, a few exceptions to the rule as reported by the Asia Times, for example, (i) in provincial areas, having a second child is permitted if the first born was a girl and (ii) couples can have two children granting one of them was an only child. But through time, implementation has become less stringent in some areas, raising worries about increase of social costs and decrease in the number of labour forces.

Before, couples who violated the policy were faced with different sanctions like paying fines and getting fired from work. Some advocates said that it even resulted in forced abortions, female infanticide, and underreporting of female births, thus can be pinpointed for the imbalance of gender in the country. "We are talking about between 20 million and 30 million young men who are not going to be able to find a wife," said contemporary Chinese professor Steve Tsang of University of Nottingham.

Different reactions and comments were received following the abandoning of the one-child policy. Chinese writer Dai Qing said "It shows that the authorities have understood the changes in the total population and the demographic structure and started to address them."

According to Reuters, the Chinese government estimated an excess of 54,200 births following the country's change of heart.

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