One Child Policy Current Affairs

China officially abandons its One Child Policy by passing law

China has officially abandoned its One Child Policy amid deepening demographic crisis of shrinking workforce and aging population in the world’s second largest economy.

In this regard 159-member National People’s Congress Standing Committee, the top organ of China’s Parliament has passed revised Law on Population and Family Planning.

The new law allows couples to have two children from January 1, 2016 and marks the ending its over three decades old One Child Policy.

China’s One Child Policy

  • This forced policy was introduced in 1978 and was implemented since 1980 in order to curb the population and limit demands for water and other resources.
  • Its main aim was to rein in population growth in order to alleviate social, economic and environmental problems in China.
  • The controversial policy had restricted most of Chinese couples to only a single offspring and prevented over 400 million births in over 3 decade span.
  • Internationally it was criticized because it involved serious human rights violations including forced abortions and also was debated it has resulted in China’s economic boom.

Comment

  • The new law was adopted as part of China’s efforts to relax the family planning laws in a response to an ageing population and to manage the demography of the country.
  • This decision aims to help China to reduce its gender imbalance as the One Child Policy had caused a dramatic gender imbalance due to forced sterilizations, infanticide and sex-selective abortions.

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China abandons its decades old One Child Policy

China, world most populous country has announced to abandon its three decades-long one-child policy and changed it two-child policy.

The ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) in this regard has issued an official communiqué at  the end of party’s 4 day plenary session headed by President Xi Jinping in Beijing.

The change of policy is intended to

  • Balance population development world’s second largest economy.
  • Address the challenge of unnatural negative demographics due rising numbers of old age population as well as concerns over declining labour force.

This announcement comes amid slowdown of China’s economy which has plunged for the first time below the 7 per cent figure since the 2009 global economic crisis.

Background

  • China had introduced its One-Child Policy in 1978 and was implemented in 1980 to rein in population growth in order to alleviate social, economic and environmental problems in China.
  • It main intention was reduce population growth of the country by limiting most urban couples to only one child. In case of rural couples it was limited to only two children if the first child was a girl.
  • Under this policy only few ethnic minorities were exempted including Tibetans, Uighurs.
  • The policy was considered controversial as it had forced many abortions and is still being criticised by Human Rights groups and activists. However, Chinese authorities have claimed this policy was one of the main reason for its economic prosperity.

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