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Joyful news: China scraps one-child policy

Editor: Tong Xinxin 丨CCTV.com

10-30-2015 16:49 BJT

By Tom McGregor, CNTV Commentator

China has enforced a one-child family planning policy, since 1979. Couples could face fines/penalties if they had chosen to raise two children. The Chinese government enacted the legislation to prevent over-population.

On a pragmatic level, Beijing may have had good reason to implement such measures. In 1979, the Chinese were struggling to overcome serious economic difficulties. The policy had resulted in an estimated reduction of some 400 million people in China, containing over-population and helped to raise the living standards of its citizens.

Yet, the long-term consequences had led to a rapidly aging population and shrinking labor force. Accordingly on Thursday, the Chinese government ended its one-child policy to balance population development and address the challenge of an ageing population, which stands as a praiseworthy moment for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s legacy.

Reversing dangerous demographic trends

The dramatic shift could not occur at a moment too soon. The United Nations projects China’s elderly population to rise from 110 million as of 2010 to 210 million in 2030, with seniors accounting for 25 percent of the population by 2050. The country is expected to lose 67 million workers from 2010 to 2030.

Fox News quotes Media Eghbal, head of countries analysis for Euromonitors International, a research firm, as saying, “China is facing a demographic time bomb.”

A smaller workforce means the elderly would confront tougher times ahead. Some will suffer from loneliness and depression, especially if they had a child and spouse dying earlier. Many seniors must rely on state-sponsored social services, when families can no longer support them.

Ironically, China is the ancient homeland of the philosopher Confucius, who espoused strong family ties, as well as for children to obey and serve their parents. Fortunately, Chinese parents have an opportunity to reverse current demographic trends.

Buying diapers and more ...

A new baby boom could provide major impetus to China’s economy, while igniting more consumer demand for infant-related goods and services.

"The good news ... Is that China’s population growth accelerates,” Channel 7 News Boston, WIDH, Jeremy Haft, an American businessman in China, as saying.

"All these people will need to be fed, clothed, housed, healed, powered, transported and networked,” Haft added. “It’s an opportunity to create trillions of dollars in new prosperity and millions of new jobs.”

Publicly-listed shares of US-based Mead Johnson Nutrition Co., which makes Enfamil and other baby formula, had risen 3 percent on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday. The conglomerate has generated more than half its revenues between July and September this year from Asia.

"China is an important market for us and we will be carefully monitoring this latest policy adjustment,” said Chris Perrill, the company’s spokesperson.

Many Chinese love doing business and the baby business will be the next big trend.

Western media still complaining

Beijing has abolished its one-child policy, but a few Western media outlets continue to criticize. CNN posted an article with the screaming headline, “Don’t be fooled by China ending its one-child policy,” written by Frida Ghitis.

Of course, CNN also posted a series of articles insisting the new law will have very little impact on the economy. They cited so-called experts claiming Chinese parents already support the one-child policy, since they prefer to purchase luxury items only for themselves, not for future children.

Apparently, CNN is mistaken if they believe that Chinese parents are too selfish to raise more children. Well, there’s an old saying, "You can’t please everyone,” and in all likelihood the Western media will complain, no matter what China does.

Patience is a virtue

Right now, China is coming to grips with low birth rates along with a shrinking workforce and aging population. Allowing couples to have more children will not fix these problems overnight, but it’s a step in the right direction. It will take time to reverse these demographic trends, but well worth the effort.



( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )



Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.


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