When you can have two


Last Thursday, China lifted its one child policy that had applied to this country for three decades. Now, couples can choose to have a second child without fear for various punishments including fines and getting fired.

Loosening a previously tight policy for population control has attracted worldwide attention. The UK’s BBC ran a topic section for consecutive days focusing on termination of the one-child policy that tries to interpret the reason why government ceased this decades-long policy. The New York Times also writes about Chinese new policy change and how this policy had demographically shaped China.

The policy change also triggered heated debate within China. Some people argue that banning the one child policy foreshadows Chinese government’s failure of re-structuring its economic development mode. For decades, the Chinese government has devoted effort to reconstructing the Chinese economy from labor-driven to technology and service driven. Recently, the Chinese economy has slowed and many people attribute the sluggish economy to the scarcity of cheap labor.

Others point out that, though families can choose to have a second child, there are still some barriers preventing unmarried women to have their own children. Some articles even cite some important data to demonstrate that, even couples which have the choice to have a second child, a very small percentage of them will actually give birth to another child due to mounting pressure to raise a child because child birth and rearing require tremendous time and money commitments.

I think the new policy will bring some changes to China. At least for coming years, it will not be rare to see a child who has a sibling. Nevertheless, the change will slight, but not tremendously elevate the total amount of Chinese population. Nowadays more and more people are prioritizing quality over quantity.  If parents have fewer kids, they can better apply their limited money and time to cultivate their children and have some spare time to enjoy their own life, rather than strain their energy to feed many mouths and merely make ends meet.