Authorities in China are now considering easing the one child policy due to a huge demographic imbalance.
The one child policy was introduced in by Deng Xiaoping in 1979 to curb the country’s population growth. Some families such as farmers with the first child being born female or ethnic minority families are exempt from the policy. However, for the rest of the country, couples have had to abide by the strict one child per family rule which is enforced by hefty fines and cuts to social services.
The draconian policy has even seen the illegal yet common practices of forcing women through sterilisations or abortions, even when in the ninth month of pregnancy.
As the male child is often favoured over females, girls are often abandoned or even victims of infanticide. This has now led to a population imbalance of 12 males to every 10 females as well as an increasing ageing population which does not have enough enough adults of working age to support it.
As a result a government official has now stated that a request has been made to relax the policy in order to urgently address and correct the imbalance that introducing the policy has caused. A pilot project is now likely to be introduced in five provinces which will allow couples of whom at least one must have been an only child themselves, to have a second child.
It will be interesting to see how this will affect the current disregard for life. Will women now stop being forced to abort their babies? Will couples now not be sterilised against their will? Will baby girls be allowed to live rather than their lives passed up in favour of a son? Will girls stop being abandoned simply because they aren’t valued as much? In turn will this solve the problem of the gender imbalance the country now has?
I cannot believe though, that none of this was foreseen before the policy was introduced. Was there never an if/then scenario played out? Surely it isn’t a sudden shock to discover that there aren’t enough people of working age to support the older generation? It would have been expected, wouldn’t it? It would all have been thought through right from the start, wouldn’t it?
You would think so, wouldn’t you?