The autonomous Communist Party of China said Monday it would allow all couples to have three children. End a two-child policy that has failed to promote the country’s declining birth rate or deal with the impending demographic crisis.
The move reflects concerns that China’s rapidly growing elderly population could exacerbate the labor shortage. and causing economic tension in the near future
The party was announced after a meeting by the Politburo, the highest decision-making body. said the decision would “Improve the population structure in our country. and help implement national strategies to actively respond to an aging population.”
China’s family planning restrictions lasted until the 1980s, when the party first adopted the “one-child” policy. to slow down population growth and bolster the nascent economic boom
In 2013, as Chinese officials began to understand the meaning of the country’s aging population, The government allowed parents from single-child families to have two children on their own. Two years later, the limit was increased to two children for all, effective Jan. 1, 2016.
Chinese demographers have long lobbied the government to abandon all birth restrictions. But Beijing has moved slowly. Although there are signs that the two-child policy is ineffective. Economic pressures and acceptance by many families that having one child is the norm has led to inappropriate birth rates. And experts don’t expect any major changes from Monday’s announcement.
Births in China have been declining for four consecutive years, including in 2020 when the number of babies born has dropped to the lowest since the Mao era. The country’s total fertility rate This is the approximate number of children born over a woman’s lifetime. It is currently at 1.3, which is lower than the 2.1 replacement rate.
The announcement surprised many experts.
“This was a little sudden and faster than I expected.” He Yafu, an independent demographer in Zhanjiang City. “Decision-makers may be aware that the demographic situation is quite severe,” said southern China.
China’s rapidly eliminating population has begun to put more pressure on the state. In the announcement on Monday The party said it would increase funding to expand services for the country’s retirees.
The number of young workers driving the world’s factories is also declining. A three-child policy will help. “Maintain our country’s advantage in donating human resources,” Politburo said.
In 2020, the number of people aged 60 and over in China is 264 million, accounting for about 18.7 percent of the population. The number is expected to rise to more than 300 million, or about a fifth of the population, by 2025, according to government data.
The party’s announcement on Monday is likely to revive longstanding complaints about the government’s control of the invasion of women’s bodies in China. On China’s popular social media platform Weibo, users quickly posted comments criticizing the move as ineffective.
“Don’t they know that most young people are tired enough to feed themselves,” wrote one user, pointing to general lament about the rising cost of living.
In a work explaining the decision last Monday The meeting acknowledged the need for broader changes that would make it easier for couples to have more children. It also pledged to improve maternity leave and “Protect the legitimate rights and interests of women in employment”
For decades China’s family planning restrictions have given authorities the power to impose fines on most couples with more than one child. and forcing hundreds of millions of Chinese women to have abortions or sterilizations. Civil servants fired for violating birth restrictions