The one-child policy for a couple in China lasted from 1980 to 2015. This was then changed as far-reaching as it is harmful to the society and the policy of two children per couple was implemented from 2016 onwards. The enthusiasm for this change was seen there only a year. In 2017, the number of children born in China was recorded more than in 2016, but from the very next year this number started declining again. Like India and the rest of
working population decreased
On the basis of this, talks about the failure of the two-child policy were being said there from 2019 itself. But when the work of giving details of the latest census conducted in November-December 2020 was postponed twice in April this year, the rumor started gaining momentum that the total deaths in China last year exceeded the total number of children born in the year. is. Chinese officials first tried to debunk this rumor by writing articles and so on. Then according to the figures released in May, the population of the country has not started falling, but looking at the trend, one thing can be said with certainty that if nothing is done soon, then China will be recognized only in the next decade. Like Japan, it will start becoming like an old country.
The data is showing that the percentage of working population of 15 to 59 years, which was more than 70 in the last census, has come down to 64 this time, while the population of 60 years or above dependent on pension was 13 percent last time. Was around, which this time is showing more than 18 percent. The danger associated with this is well understood by the ruling Communist Party there because it will have to bear the direct loss of causing any kind of resentment and discontent in the society. The policy of three children per couple has been brought by him under this concern. On May 31, when a debate started on Weibo on social media like Twitter and Facebook in China regarding this policy, 600 million people participated in it within 24 hours.
Most people believed that this was a useless exercise. In the last six years, if the population does not start increasing with the two-child policy, then surely this work is not going to happen even with the three-child policy. A survey was conducted by the government right here around the question whether they would like to have more children after the change in policy. Out of about 31 thousand entries that came on the survey, when 28 thousand i.e. around 90 percent were found negative, then this survey site was silently closed. In the opinion pieces that are being published in Hong Kong and Taiwan, people say that the Chinese government should throw its entire population control policy in the dustbin because it is not going to make any difference to anyone now.
For the time being, keeping China aside, if we look around us, most of the urban middle class families formed in the last three decades have only one child, while we have never had any law regarding the number of children. The biggest reason for this is that employed women feel the pressure of having a child on their income and career. Similar social and class pressures apply to women who do not work. Families with two children are still considered the best here, but the third child is found only in exceptional circumstances. There is no structure of care of young children neither in the society nor in the workplace. In such a situation, sometimes there is a situation of missing work. Further bottlenecks come from the increasing expenditure on the education and upbringing of the child. All these problems in China are the same as in India and in some cases they are even deeper than here.
people asking for money
For example, the percentage of employed women in China is much higher than in India. Chinese households are less concerned with basic economic insecurity than in India, but a decent car and a three-bedroom flat still cause envy. In such a situation, people do not save from giving birth to more than one child just because their fees will not be waived if they have a second or third child. The fragmentation of the entire future plan prevents families from moving in this direction. The Chinese government has proposed some plans to make its three-child policy attractive, although these are yet to be put into policy. This includes things like creating a national system of childcare, strictness against discrimination against women employees during pregnancy and childbearing, and tax exemptions. But in the debate that started in China after the policy came on May 31, some newly-weds are asking the government for Rs 5 crore to have a child!
In specifics, China’s one-child policy has never been as strict as it seems from afar. Lin was the fifth child of her parents, playing an interpreter during our visit to China. To our surprise, he pointed out that the policy has been lax in villages and in minority areas and people find some way out. It is being said right now that the main reason for not lifting the ban on the number of children is to keep the minority population under control. One thing is certain that the problem for China right now is not to reduce the population but to increase it. For the population to not start declining, the average number of children per family should be more than two. Japan, Russia and most of the Eastern European countries could not do anything about it in time and the phenomenon of working population has become a big problem for them today. Whether the Chinese can be active in this matter in time or not, time will tell.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are those of the author.
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