中国法律博客
ChinaLegalBlog.com
Gov’t Studies One Child Policy Reform – Western Critics Still Clueless
媒体来源: 中国法律博客

China needs to adjust its one-child family planning policy to fight a worsening gender imbalance and an aging population with too few children, experts said.

China launched its nationwide, one-child family planning policy in the 1970s. Though it prevented 400 million births, it has been criticized for leading to gender imbalance, a large elderly population and a scarcity of working-age people.

"The country has successfully achieved the goal to prevent its population from growing too fast, which was set in its first population policy advocating 'one child for one couple'," Hu Angang, one of China's leading policy advisers, said in an article he published on the Economic Information Daily on Thursday. (China Daily)

This is not so exciting in and of itself. Obviously a policy shift is necessary at some point because of demographic problems. This was inevitable.

What is entertaining (to me) is Western reaction to any story concerning the One Child Policy. Religious nutjobs have been fierce critics of the policy since the '80s. None of them understood anything about economic growth and development policy, but that never stopped them. The Bible says to procreate like bunnies, they say, so anything that would undermine that is simply evil. Contraception, family planning, the One Child Policy, etc.

Sure, there were certainly problems with implementation of the policy. A lot of that had to do with the lack of control Beijing had over local officials. There were undoubtedly some excesses as well with respect to enforcement. That doesn't mean, though, that the underlying policy was somehow a bad idea.

Yes, the policy has had some negative side effects, such as gender imbalance problems. That being said, I don't consider having a rapidly aging problem an unintended negative consequence of the one child policy. If the policy was successful as designed, wouldn't it inevitably result in an aging population? Wasn't that the whole point?

Anyway, if you take away the religious arguments, I think a lot of people would probably say that the policy has been a rousing success. Too bad you can't take the religious crap out of the policy discussion in some countries.

In the U.S., every time the religious freaks in Congress wanted to score some cheap points, they would call for a hearing and have some "academic" (i.e. some goofus from a think tank funded by a fundamentalist Christian billionaire) testify about forced abortions in China. Made for some good fundraising, I suspect.

So now that the policy has done what it was designed to do, it needs to be adjusted to current realities. The gender gap is one problem, but more importantly, China has moved on and simply doesn't have the same population pressures it did 30 years ago.

Critics will undoubtedly pronounce any policy reform as proof that it was a failure, ignoring pesky facts like breakneck GDP growth rates for decades, millions of people raised out of poverty, better living conditions, better educational institutions — you know, stuff Jesus would have been quite keen on.

Never mind. Family planning = evil.

Tags: ,


© Stan for China Hearsay, 2009. |
Permalink |
6 comments |
Add to
del.icio.us

Post tags: