China’s decision to scarp the one-child policy is an “adaptive reform” as the country is facing issues of ageing population and decreasing birth rates, a state-run daily said on Monday.
A commentary, titled “China lifts one-child policy to two; what now?”, published in the People’s Daily said that China was to allow all couples to have two children and “this well-received policy amendment has become a heated discussion nationwide”.
“Many westerners are no strangers to China’s one-child policy. Ever since its becoming of the basic national policy in the 1980s, one-child policy has been seeing skepticism and oppositions for ‘human rights violation’,” it said.
“Yet, the issue of population is a much more complicated problem than westerners could imagine, especially for a country taking up a quarter of the world’s population. The one-child policy was a tough decision made amidst dilemma. Now that it’s over 30 years after its implementation, the fact is that this policy did effectively suppress China’s rapid population growth,” it added.
The daily noted that lifting “the one-child policy is an innovative continuation and reform from the previous population planning”.
“China is facing issues of aging population and decreasing birth rates. The new adjustment is a wise move; it is an adaptive reform.”
The commentary went on to ask: “What now?”
“To both the central and local governments in China, issues such as whether people want to have baby remain to be solved. Furthermore, the rising cost of raising children, the weighty pressure of caring elderlies, and the rapid economic growth – all these issues have changed people’s mindset on having children.”
It added that rather than relying on the new policy to take effect by itself, “the government, regardless central or local, should step in by providing more supportive measures, such as subsidizing child and elderly care, and introduce more incentives for family to have children. All these will certainly help to achieve the desired effect of the policy”.
It said that the change of population will affect the whole society.
“Not only does the lifting of one-child policy change a family structure, it also alters social structure as well as people’s mindset.”
“…In the process of lifting the one-child policy, it is essential that the Chinese government, while concerning the population issue, to have a systematic assessment and measures to react to any possible impact that this policy may bring to the society.”
The commentary added: “People determine the destiny of a country. The single-child generation in China is to become the past. China is moving into an era of two-children.”