The Point: China Needs Children

What’s the Chinese word for “oops”?

After decades of a “one-child policy,” which led to forced abortions and 30 million missing girls, the Chinese government is reversing course. Three years ago, it raised the limit to two children. Now, the New York Times reports that the Communist Party is actually encouraging citizens to have more children, but “it’s not going well.”

The Chinese are used to only having one or two children, which isn’t enough to maintain the population or stave off economic turmoil. As one economic commentator predicted, “China will grow old before it grows rich.”

Chinese officials will keep trying. Some provinces are considering incentives like tax breaks and housing subsidies, similar to those tried but largely unsuccessful in Europe.

China is suffering the consequences of years of government overreach and interference with families due to misplaced population panic. Lifting the restrictions is a good start, but you can’t replace millions of missing children overnight.

Resources

Burying ‘One Child’ Limits, China Pushes Women to Have More Babies
  • Steven Lee Myers and Olivia Mitchell Ryan | New York Times | August 11, 2018

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