In 1979, China enacted it’s now infamous “one child” policy. The cruel restriction on parents penalized anyone who dared to have multiple children. Now, that policy might be ending. Not immediately, but slowly and surely, insiders say abolishing population control policies could happen in the next decade. Business Insider explains:
“As the first step, China may allow urban families to have two children if one parent is from an only child family and rural families to have two children regardless the gender of the first born. In three to five years, China may allow all families to have two children. And it seems possible that population control policy may even be scrapped entirely in ten to fifteen years. In short term, we expect the reform is likely to have a quite small impact on Chinaâ€™s population growth. In the middle to long term, Chinaâ€™s total fertility rate may rise above 1.5 after two children are allowed for all families if China scraps the birth control policies.”
The policy shaped the Chinese culture in many ways. It brought the country’s fertility rate down to 1.18. To sustain a population from one generation to the next, a country needs a rate of approximately 2.1. It led to an imbalance between men and women, through horrible issues like infanticide of females. And the policy has long created a human rights barrier between China and other countries.
China’s policy shaped families for a generation. It led to a whole country of only children. It led to parents be unable to have the type and size of family that they deemed best. Ending this harsh restriction would have an incredible impact on families across the country.
For those of us here in the United States, the one child policy was symbol of the oppressive and unfair government in China. It presented plenty of examples of government corruption, where officials could get away with having multiple children while average citizens could not. The perception of China with the rest of the world could change dramatically once all population control measures have been ended.
In China wants to be recognized as a world power, this is a decision that has to be made. It’s a policy that will be hung over their heads at every turn until it’s ended. Until the country grants all its citizens the rights to choose how and when to reproduce, the rest of the world would always have a sparring point, something to hold against them. While there are still plenty of human rights causes to be fought in China, getting rid of this one would be a huge step forward to global legitimacy.
We hope the news that this oppressive policy is on it’s way out proves true. We hope for children in the future, the one child policy is nothing but a distant and bitter memory. We hope families in China are finally able to form themselves in whatever way they see fit.