China's One Child Policy Finally Lifted

China’s One Child Policy Finally Lifted

Dating back over three decades, and authorization for all Chinese people to have two children, a historic turning claimed by demographers and economists to facing the aging population and needs grow.

This decision was taken “to promote the balanced development” demographic of China and to “respond to the aging of the population,” according to a statement from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) read on state television CCTV.

The measure follows an easing adopted two years ago – Beijing has already allowed the Chinese to have two children if one parent was himself an only child.

The birth control policy, often criticized for its abuses – including forced abortions – was expected after many calls in the sense of experts or research institutes.

The decision was taken at the Fifth Plenum of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, which ended Thursday, according to the official news agency, after four days of work on the adoption of the 13th Five Year Plan (2016-2020).

“This is great!” Enthused Xiao Meng, Beijing official and young bride of 26 years, in a statement to AFP. “I can now decide, based on my personal situation – professional, family -. Or not to have a second child”

China introduced birth control policy in the late 70’s to curb a growing population while previously promoted under the leadership of Mao Tse-tung (1949-1976).

But the aging population that results, and the male / female imbalance now pose enormous challenges to the authorities.

In 2014, he was born on average 116 boys to 100 girls, a total ratio in the population of 105 men per 100 women.

Several official studies estimate the number of 30 million Chinese men unable to find a wife. A “single crisis”, potentially generating violence and instability, fear of the authorities.

“This change comes at least ten years later than it should have,” said AFP Cai Yong, a professor at the University of North Carolina and expert one-child policy. “But better late than never.”

Almost all of the 55 ethnic minorities in the country were not subject to birth control policies, and the Chinese campaign could already have two children if the first was a girl.

Last easing, announced in late 2013, allowed all couples to have two children if one parent was himself an only child.

But this possibility has not resulted in the increase of births expected that the authorities of the world’s most populous country with 1.37 billion people.


“Personally, I want two children so they can grow together, Xiao Meng explains. But couples of friends – especially those who already have a child – do not want a second, because they do not have enough energy to take care of. ”

Many Chinese, for reasons of cost of living, tuition, or just usual, wishing to be limited to a child.

A trend which, in the view of the many studies published for several years, demographers worried the country.

According to a projection made in China in June 2014 and based on UN figures, China could count, in 2050, 300 million families on the model “one father-mother-child.”

The study estimated that at the same date, the number of families who lost their only child would be 11 million, putting many elderly and isolated people in difficulty.

“Currently, many young parents – who themselves have no brothers and sisters – must care only for their own parents, or four people,” said Zhang Wei, a young mother of a little girl. “The easing announced Thursday will help to lighten their load.”


In China, support his parents, especially older, is a moral obligation, but many couples facing a difficult economic situation, can consider this task as a burden.

Easing Thursday “is good news for couples who hope to have a second child,” said AFP Maya Wang of the NGO Human Rights Watch, “but the restrictions (…) remain.”

“As long as quotas and that the monitoring system remain,” she said, “women can not enjoy their reproductive rights”, saying that this relaxation was made “mainly for economic reasons “.