Despite rumors to the contrary, China will maintain the “one-child” policy. Government officials have announced that the policy is to remain in effect and is expected to continue indefinitely.
The China Development Research Foundation issued a report late last year in an attempt to encourage government officials to modify the controversial order. The group suggested a gradual modification that would develop through the next three years and eventually allow two children per couple. The foundation had hopes that policies imposing birth limits would be completely phased out by 2020. They maintain that the policy has had a serious impact on China politically, socially, and financially.
The one-child policy is not quite as simple as it sounds. Some of the rules are quite complicated as reported by NBC News:
“The government limits most urban couples to one child, and allows two children for rural families if their first-born is a girl. There are numerous other exceptions as well, including looser rules for minority families and a two-child limit for parents who are themselves both singletons.”
Wang Xia, China’s head of the National Population and Family Planning Commission, announced on Monday that China will maintain the one-child policy and intends to do so on a long-term basis. The goal of the policy, according to Xia, is to maintain a low birthrate.
Critics of the decision cite the impact that the policy, enacted in 1979, has already had on China. Reports of forced abortions number into the millions. A growing number of retirees and a limited younger generation has reportedly caused an financial crisis among the aging. Other critics cite an imbalanced sex ratio due to reported elective abortions if a fetus is determined to be female.
However controversial, government officials in China are firm in their decision and have made it clear that, at least for now, they will continue the one-child policy.