Juris Paiders, Latvia
For decades, China has had a "one-child policy" that allows families to have only one child. This restriction was changed to the "two-child policy" a few years ago, and now the Chinese government has allowed the Chinese people to have three children.
The main reason for this is the very low birth rate and the impending demographic crisis. China is still the country with the largest population (1.41 billion), but UN projections show that India will soon surpass it as India has a much higher birth rate.
Statistics show that about 12 million babies were born in China last year, the lowest birth rate in China in many years. For example, in 2016, when the “two children policy” was implemented, the number of newborns reached 18 million.
Chinese demographers argue that it will be difficult for China to raise fertility in the near future because the number of women of reproductive age is declining. This was triggered by China's one-child policy from 1979 to 2015.
Chinese families could only have one child, and many families chose to “spend” this quota on a boy, as in China, boys were traditionally valued more than girls. If the family knew what was in store for the girl, the mother would often decide to have an abortion.
This led to an unexpected outcome - the number of men exceeded the number of women. Although it was impossible to know the sex of the baby during pregnancy, there were several ways to do this, which led to numerous late abortions. This is why there is currently a disparity between the number of men and women in Chinese society.
As a result, there is an overproduction of men and an acute shortage of women in modern China. Statistics show that there are 35 million more men than women, so many men have no chance of finding a wife.
Moreover, the beliefs and values of the Chinese people have also changed over the years, that is, many women want to pursue a career first and only then start a family. In recent years, the number of marriages in China has plummeted.
These trends are especially prevalent in Chinese cities, and demographers predict that the gap between urban and rural situations will only widen in the future - rural residents still prefer large families, and city dwellers find it difficult to give birth to even one child.
“Now we are allowed to have three children. The problem, however, is that I don't even want one child, ”a user from the Chinese social network Weibo wrote in his account.
Many people wonder if the “three-child policy” will change anything if the “two-child policy” failed to do so. For this reason, people are happy with the government's decision to provide other incentives and motivations in this regard.
For example, spending on education, which was twice as high in families with two children, will be cut, people will receive additional support for tax and housing issues, and working women will be given more rights. In addition, the government has plans to educate young Chinese people about marriage and love - now the state propaganda will not only deal with slandering the West, but also teach people to love and “have children” correctly.
This suggests that the Chinese government took a very peculiar approach to identifying mistakes in its previous policies, but it does not recognize these mistakes, which is common to all authoritarian regimes. If the previous plan failed, just tweak it a bit and restart it again.
The one-child policy has led to a generation and a half, where for every working population there are six non-working people — parents and two pairs of grandparents. This is the know-how of the Chinese Communist Party.