Adviser calls for lifting birth control in China


Since 2010, the annual Two Sessions (NPC&CPPCC) have witnessed more and more calls for adopting a ‘two-child policy’ in China. And this year, a CPPCC member went a step ahead with a bold proposal to totally end national restrictions on birth.

Wang Ming, a CPPCC member and also chief of Tsinghua University’s NGO Research Institute, has proposed the ‘two-child policy’ for the past three years. And this year he advocated for totally scrapping the family planning policy.

Based on the figures from the National Bureau of Statistics of China, in 2012, China had a newborn population of 16.35 million and death reports of 9.66 million, which created only a net increase of 6.69 million people.

If the birth control in China could be totally nullified in 2013, the year 2014 would greet a kind of baby boom with the estimated new birth number scaling to somewhere between 20 - 27 million. This would not trigger any problem of overpopulation, according to Wang.  
China trapped by low fertility rate

According to Wang, the Chinese are now so stressed out by the ongoing modernization process and long-term implementation of the family planning policy that their desire to bear children is seriously suppressed.

“China has been trapped by the problem of low birth rate,” noted Wang. He pointed out in his proposal that even in the pilot areas where the two-child policy is extensively implemented, the birth rate can only rebound slightly. It seems the reluctance to give more births has become a behavioral trait of the Chinese people.

“It (low birth rate) will lead to all kinds of problems, which will get worse over time. In the long run, the decreasing population would affect economic growth, weaken national defense, jeopardize family happiness and eventually impair social equality,” Wang was quoted as saying.

Good genes may become extinct

“Big cities like Beijing and Shanghai attract talented people from all around the country, but at a low birth rate of 0.7, the posterity of the genius is diminishing by two thirds per generation. That means the good genes passed on by several thousand years of history in China may decrease to only one tenth of the original within  two generations,” Wang  noted birth control could lead to degradation of human quality.

From Wang’s viewpoint, the strict birth control policy in China only highlights the negative effects of a large population and the government also tends to attribute all problems to overpopulation. For example, in China, people would naturally blame the congestion of big cities to a large population, while in fact the problem is more closely related to economic growth than population. In a poor country with a small population, the big cities would also be congested. And considerably decreasing population in China would instead result in the demise of small cities and villages, as people would flood to big cities.

So, Wang proposed the government should lift all restrictions on giving birth and alleviate the burdens of families with more than one child in terms of  taxation, education, medical services and career development.

Divergence between family planning officers and demographers

The reporter found out at the ongoing Two Sessions that the estimated population size after adopting the two-child policy is quite different in the conjectures of family planning officials and demographer-delegates like Wang Ming.

An anonymous family planning official stated that the current low birth rate in China is not quite stable, except in several metropolitan cities. So, once the family planning policy is abolished, the current low birth rate would definitely make a huge rebound.

But some academician-delegates like Wang pointed out that the worries of the officials are unnecessary. Wang also called for the state policy to respect and safeguard human lives, including the fetuses. He strongly protested against using inhumane ways like forced abortions to control birth.

He also suggested the government to map out a string of policies to help single-child families which are more vulnerable to different problems.

Wang Pei’an, vice minister of the National Population and Family Planning Commission, reacted, “Outgoing Premier Wen Jiabao has promised to improve on the current family planning policy in his government work report. As to whether there will be new policies mapped out, we will just wait and see. Time will bring the answer.”

@jack_xi[Shenzhen, Guangdong]: The family planning officials are the vested interest group behind the policy, so they would not care about the nation’s future!

@mobile phone user 2527323991[湖南株洲]: For families, it is best to have two children. For the future of China and for the future of our children, please consider two-child policy.

@ mqxuqing1973[Huangshi, Hubei] About the problem of population rebound, we’d better believe it than doubt it, for once the overpopulation occurs, the nation would be burdened for at least 70 years. According to numerous social surveys, most people support the two-child policy. And how could the experts be so sure that the population would not explode once again. The experts talk about the benefits that a large population could bring, what about the negative effects? Is China really ready for the huge adjustments of family planning policy? I have no idea what they are thinking about!


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