China will Allow Couples to have Three Children in Historic Policy Shift

After the recent census found that the country is experiencing a sharp decline in birth rates, Chinese couples will actively encourage up to three children. The People’s Republic of China introduced the “One Child Policy” in the late 1970’s to control the population in and around it. The policy was complex and different between different regions and social groups, but it encouraged couples to have only one child, with huge financial penalties called “couple social child raising fees”. It is used in more heinous ways such as forced abortion and disinfection.

The policy ended in 2015, when couples were allowed to have two children. After realizing the policy, the population is slipping drastically. Now, it has extended the previous one and will encourage couples to give birth to three children. The move was announced at a meeting of the Political Bureau of China’s Central Committee on May 31, 2021, state news agency Xinhua reported.

“Implementation of the policy and its relevant supportive measures will help improve China’s population structure, enable older people to respond more actively, and preserve the country’s human resource facilities,” the statement said. However, the specific details of the policy were not searched. Policy changes are generally welcomed, although there have been some mixed reactions on Chinese social media. While many encourage the apparent relaxation of changes and rules, others argue that China should move toward full liberalization of birth policies. Some experts also suggested that the policy may be too late and will fail to address the root causes of the shrinking population.

“If it was effective to relax the birth policy, the current two child policy should have been effective. But who wants to have three kids? Young people can have a maximum of two children. The main problem is that the cost of living is too high and the pressures of life are too great, “Hao Chow, a senior economist at Commerzbank Asia, told Reuters. According to the country’s latest census, China currently has a population of about 1.41 billion. The population has grown by 72.06 million over the past decade, with the census further stating that the population has aged and experienced the slowest rate of generational growth.