China recently declared that it will allow couples to have up to three kids. This is because the census data showed an abrupt decline in birth rates.
China changed its decades-old one-child policy in 2016 with a two-child limit which failed to lead to a constant improvement in births.
President Xi Jinping approved this move at a meeting of top Communist Party Officials.
It will come with – “supportive measures, which will be conducive to improving our country’s population structure, fulfilling the country’s strategy of actively coping with an ageing population and maintaining the advantage, endowment of human resources”, according to Xinhua news agency.
But human rights organisation Amnesty International said the policy, just like before was still an abuse of sexual and reproductive rights.
“Governments have no business regulating how many children people have. Rather than ‘optimising’ its birth policy, China should instead respect people’s life choices and end any invasive and punitive controls over people’s family planning decisions,” said the group’s China team head, Joshua Rosenzweig.
This is big news in a country that didn’t start suddenly producing more babies when the one-child policy eased off to two.
Moreover, many Chines couples are not interested in having more than one kid because of heavy living costs.
The natives do not want big families. They have been living in small families for generations and are used to this lifestyle.
According to them, they’d rather give one child more advantages than spread their income among several kids.
Also, people are under too much pressure with their life, job and stuff. Hence, are not willing to have a child.
And with a fall in the labour market, Chinese youngsters have to work longer hours than usual.
Women, on the other hand, wish to pursue further education and employment, rather than settle down early to start a family.
What did the census say?
As per the census conducted in late 2020, around 12 million babies were born last year. There is a substantial decrease from the 18 million in 2016, and the lowest number of births recorded since the 1960s.
It was broadly expected after the census data results were released that China would relax its family policy rules.
What were China’s previous policies?
In 2016, China started a policy to allow couples to have two children. But failed to improve the country’s falling birth rate despite a two-year increase immediately afterwards.
China has faced population trends because of the one-child policy, which was introduced in 1979 to slow population growth.
People that violated these rules were made to pay fines or lost their jobs. They were even made to face abortions, at times.
This policy led to a severe gender imbalance in the country. A large number of girls were abandoned or placed in orphanages. There were also many cases of sex-selective abortions or even female infanticide.
All this happened because of the male domination tradition, where males child is given more preference over female.