China's Three Child Policy: What made China relax its two child policy?
Three Child Policy in China: Why in News?
China has recently relaxed its two child policy to three, six years after it abandoned the one child policy of 1979.
The move has been taken after China's declining young population and an increasing ageing population was reported by the census carried out in the country.
Why did China launch the Three Child Policy? Census Details
- The census on May 11, 2021 recorded 12 million births in 2020 which happened to be the lowest since 1961.
- The census said there were 264 million in their 60's and above.
- This count is up by 5.44% since 2010 and accounts for 18.70% of the population.
- After the one child policy, China’s fertility rate fell from 2.75 in 1979 to 1.69 in 2018.
- China's population is ageing and the human resources are falling short for using the development Chinese have done since their independence.
China’s One Child Policy:
The three child policy has been announced in China as a consequence they faced due to the One child policy brought about after the death of the country's leader Mao. His motto was “later, longer, fewer” which was meant to build a good workforce in China.
After Mao's death Deng Xiaoping emphasized the need for population control in China. Although the party defends the 300 million births it avoided yet the urgency of recent measures of three child policy suggest otherwise.
The one child policy remained in force till 2016.
The one child policy was enforced upon citizens through means that included incentivising the families financially so that they only have one child. They also made contraceptives widely available, and imposed sanctions against those who violated the policy.
The state also used brutal tactics such as forced abortions and sterilizations at that time which was a clear violation of human rights.
Repercussions of One Child Policy:
- The birth rates fell and so did the sex ratio skew towards the males.
- The abortion of female fetuses was on a rise during this time and the girls born were abandoned, put into orphanages and worst killed.
- Also social boundaries increased as Uighur Muslim community was pressurised to have lesser kids due to the policy to control their population in China.
- China's population has aged faster than the rest of the world due to lesser births during this time.
- Now that China has developed, it has less young population to reap the benefits of the growth.
China's Two Child Policy:
China allowed only those couples to have a second child if either parent was an only child in 2013. This led to the two child policy being finally introduced in 2015.
However the latest data show that this policy relaxation did not help either.
Economists Jin Zhangfeng, Pan Shiyuan, and Zheng Zhijie explained this failure of the Chinese Policy makers pointing how the two child policy “substantially increased the number of second-child births” among those “less sensitive to child-rearing costs” but “substantially decreased the number of first-child births” due to the rising costs.
The economists also said, “other developing countries, even without China’s stringent child-limitation policies, have also experienced declines." This meant that China could have done without putting pressure on it's citizens.
The solution to this could have been the reduced child-rearing costs rather than relaxation of child births. The unwanted demographic shift could not be changed by any of these methods.
Skepticism on China’s Three Child Policy:
- Many experts are still skeptical about the success of the three child policy in China as the first two measures failed miserably.
- The major factor behind the fewer children was the choice of the young couples to have fewer children.
- Also the rise in cost of living, child rearing and education is to be blamed for the same.
- The issue gets worsened by the country's elaborate working hours being adopted in the culture.
So the above reasons clearly state how China's lower demographic index does not depend on it's absurd policies.
The three child policy does not mean abandoning China's family planning policies at all. The entrenched and widely reviled family planning bureaucracy of the country is still where it was and the government’s statement released also highlighted the “current reward and assistance system and preferential policies” for those following rules.
The new policy as per the Government would have supportive measures which would be helpful in coping with the country's ageing population and endowment of Human Resources.