China One-Child Policy Abandoned

China one-child policyChina’s one-child policy is being abandoned, due to slowing economic growth in the country. Xinhua announced on Thursday that all couples will now be allowed to have two children. The decision has taken four days for the Communist Party to agree on.

President Xi Jinping wants to stimulate China’s economy and Central Committee says that the one-child policy abandonment will allow for that. The policy has been in place for over 30 years, and has been a controversial decision. There have been many stories of abandoned or killed baby girls, as families favor boys. Boys in China traditionally care for aging parents and carry on the family name, so girls are not as wanted. Only those in the country side could have two children if the first was a girl, due to the farm work required. The policy was initially introduced due to China’s population growing too big for the country, but recent projections show that the population will drop to 1.3 billion from 1.37 billion by 2050. The workforce is also struggling as there are now more pensioners.

In 2013, the policy was changed. Those who were urban, from one-child households or Han were allowed to have two children. The new two-child policy will now take effect over the next five years.

China says that the one-child policy prevented 400 million births, a figure that is contested by many. The country also said that the policy had adapted over the years and only 36 percent of the population were limited to one child only. This is another figure contested, as documented figures are not readily available.

The policy was enforced through employment and financial incentives. Contraceptives were also widely available. Those who violated rules faced fines and could lose their jobs. Controversial mass sterilizations and forced abortions also took place. Those against the policy regularly argued that the human rights of Chinese citizens were violated.

Sources:

The Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/china-one-child-policy-abandoned-state-to-allow-couples-to-have-two-children-a6713196.html

BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-34667551

Image from New York Magazine Twitter Feed (https://twitter.com/NYMag/status/659733685281890304)


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