September 02, 2005

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One-Child Policy: How Much Longer?

Yesterday I alluded to China's growing likelihood of an aging crisis in about 20-30 years in jest as a rationale for why China's food quality standards are so abysmal. But China does indeed have an aging population, one that will require an undeniable social cost in just one generation.

So why does the country continue to have a one-child family policy? I'd almost forgotten China has one, given the number of people I know that have more than one child in China - legally. How do they do it? I was reminded of the simple strategy by this article about filmmaker Chen Kaige - just pay the Y60,000 fine.

But is it good policy? Perhaps the security of economic growth is still too new for the policymakers to shift gears radically and remove a key piece of legislation that, regardless of how you feel about its arbitrary, pro-abortion stance, has helped get China where it is today. It's another reason why, of course, China is very different from India, where birthrates per family still mange 4-5. (I saw this article about Chinese firms helping Pakistan manufacture contraceptives and found that an, uh, uphill battle).

But if in 30 years time the population actually finds itself shrinking and aging, the consequences for a country that still will be struggling to hit first world status will be severe. They should stop this anachronistic policy before it's too late - and then end up like Hong Kong (0.65 natural birth rate amongst permanent Hong Kong residents, the lowest in the world). They certainly won't be able to keep deflating the world anymore...

posted by HK Dave on 09.02.05 at 11:41 PM in the


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How to end the One Child Policy
Excerpt: HKDave, guestblogging at Simon World, ponders the fate of the One Child Policy in the face of generational burdens in the near future which will see single Chinese children struggling to raise their own families and care for large extended families: ...
Tracked: September 3, 2005 06:32 PM


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