One child policy could be lifted as China faces “demographic time bomb” 40



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Thirty years ago, China had a population crisis. Following years of encouragement to have lots of children and boost the labour force, the population was growing at 1.9 per cent, which politicians deemed unsustainable.

In true one-party style, the communist nation brought in the controversial one-child policy and policed it with force. Outside of regional areas, families who fell pregnant a second time faced forced abortions or, if they dared have the child, were completely cut off from the state, slapped with high taxes and their child banned from school.

Today, like most of the world, China is facing a different kind of population crisis. The nation now has the world’s largest yet most rapidly ageing population. By 2050, China will have nearly 440 million over-60s, according to UN estimates.


Meanwhile, thanks to what is regarded as one of history’s biggest experiments in state-enforced population engineering, China is also suffering from a very limited labour pool of 16 to 59 year-olds, which has been shrinking since 2012, and an imbalance between the sexes (it has not been uncommon for parents to ensure their one child is a boy, one way or another; there are 33 million more men than women in China).

In an attempt to manage this impending crisis, the Chinese government is back to asking the population to procreate. A government source has told China Business News a two-child policy could be in place by the end of the year.

In China, contraception used by mothers is under strict government control. Women who have one child must use an IUD, and those with two children can face sterilisation, according the University of Leicester.

Do you remember when China brought in the one-child policy? How did you feel about it? And what do you think of these new measures to manage the ageing population? 


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. China’s one child policy I feel, was always going to be a cruel policy, if that one child reaches their teen or adulthood and dies, the parent are left with no children at all. So many times we heard of babies been killed or forcibly taken from their parents or the mothers being forced into late term abortions. They reaping now what they have sown

  2. I thought it terrible then as I do now. Because God only knows how many babies were murdered, especially the girl babies! How they are today is a prime example why it was morally wrong. There must have been a lot of heartache for the families too, with these rules hanging over their heads! By a Godless Government.

  3. We don’t know how lucky we are until we see the reality of these heartless countries. I don’t trust a nation who have such high disregard for their own people.

  4. It was an attempt at pop control but could never work – I read that many Chinese males have to go outside China for wives. The government needs to change thousands of years of culture which favours male children over females (apparently because males have to look after their parents and females leave after they marry and don’t help look after their parents)

  5. They will probably kill their elderly like they did their daughters. Very cruel with their animals too

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