The communist regime of Xi Jinping recently announced that Chinese families would now be able to have up to three children. The country, which until now has had a policy of allowing citizens to have only two children, is now faced with the need to boost its birth rate as it experiences rapid aging coupled with unprecedented economic growth.
The communist regime has been tightly controlling the birth rate of its citizens. Over the years it has been relaxing this policy for demographic reasons and recent census data conducted by the regime show that it must relax its measures even more.
The abandonment of the one-child policy in 2016, which allowed couples to have two children if they wanted, failed to lead to a sustained increase in births and the authorities are trying to curb this trend.
Global Times, a pamphlet funded by China’s Communist Party, states that Chinese demographers believe this new measure was not simply a plan for a birth rate increase, “but a significant step leading to more policy changes in improving China’s demographic structure and actively responding to the aging trend.”
Official media say China will offer subsequent support measures in greater detail for marriage and reduce the burden of child-rearing; it will also make adjustments to medical care for the elderly.
The Communist Party Times says that at the Politburo meeting it was announced that such a plan for deepening China’s social engineering seeks to “implement the national strategy of actively responding to the aging population, as well as maintaining China’s advantage in human resources.”
Census figures also reveal that China’s population growth continues to fall, just as its labor force has shrunk over the past decade.
Specifically, China recorded twelve million births in 2020, showing a drop in the birth rate for four consecutive years, the official media revealed.
BBC analysts believe that citizens have been accustomed for decades to not having large families and this represents a barrier to the communist regime’s new birth rate policy.
“I’ve interviewed many young Chinese couples on this issue and it’s hard to find these days those who want to start larger families,” said the BBC’s Stephen McDonnell.
“Generations of Chinese have lived without siblings and are used to small families,” McDonnell continues. “Affluence has meant less need for several children to support the family with their work, and young professionals say they would rather give more advantages to one child than spread their income over several.”
Other academics have also taken issue with the measure’s success. Dr. Yi Fuxian believes that “China’s economy has grown rapidly and many industries in the world depend on China. The scope of the impact of a population decline would be very large.”