Because China faces issues related to its aging population, it has changed its one child policy to encourage the younger generation to have more children. However, recent statistics show the childbirth rate is slowing down. People’s Daily published an article calling for the government to establish plans to ease childbirth concerns; it has been saying, “Childbirth Is a National Matter.” However People’s Daily’s statement drew a fair amount of criticism over the Internet.
According to the People’s Daily article, in the 1980s, China’s one child policy resulted in 400 million fewer newborn babies, which eased the resource and environmental pressure. In 2013, the policy was changed to allow parents who are the only child in their family to have a second child. By 2015, to deal with the aging population issues China was facing, the policy was changed to allow all couples to have a second child. The statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics revealed that there were 17.23 million newborns in 2017, down 63,000 from 2016. The childbirth rate was 12.43 percent, down 0.52 percent from 2016. Many cities and provinces issued policies to increase the rate of childbirth. In urban regions, however, many young couples still chose not to have children due to the high cost of raising a child, including education, medical, and public services. However, the decrease in the childbirth rate is having a negative impact on society, including an aging population, higher labor costs, and an increase in the pressure on social security. Therefore, in order to solve this problem, the government needs to come up with a plan that will ease the concerns of the younger generation so they will be encouraged to have more children.
Following the People’s Daily‘s statement, people responded with criticism over the Internet. One posting stated, “Having a child is a basic right for a human being. The party wants to manage everything. They didn’t allow more than one child before. Now they want people to have more children. The situation is that people could afford more than one child back then, but the reality is that now, they can have a baby but are unable to afford raising the baby.” Another posting commented that there were so many tragic incidents when the Party forced women to abort their babies and never took any responsibility. “The Party never cares about the livelihood of the people.”
1. People’s Daily, August 6, 2018
2. Epoch Times, August 13, 2018