China’s one-child policy amended

Published On November 15, 2013 | By sarahwatson | News

By Kerrisa Wilson

China’s controversial one-child policy is changing.

The Communist Party of China has announced it will now allow families to have up to two children if at least one parent is an only child.

Party leaders concluded a four-day meeting in Beijing on Tuesday and the official Xinhua News Agency announced the changes.

In the past, both parents had to be an only child in order to have two children.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons. China's one-child policy has been amended so now families can have two  children if one parent is an only child compared to  previously where both parents had to be an only child.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons. China’s one-child policy has been amended so now families can have two children if one parent is an only child compared to previously where both parents had to be an only child.

The one-child policy has been implemented in urban areas of China since 1980 because of the increasing birth rate and to address the many families living in poverty.

The change in policy is not a big surprise but definitely a good piece of news, said University of Chicago Modern Chinese History Professor, Kenneth Pomeranz.

“There were people for one thing who were defying the policy and often paying a significant price for doing so and then there were other people advocating mostly in fairly quiet ways that the policy be changed, said Pomeranz.

 

“So there were both some popular resistance and some high level policy discussion.”

Zumei Tracy Jia was born and raised in Xian where her and her husband had one son because of the one-child policy.

“I hoped to have more but we had to have one, said Jia. At the time I agreed with the government, I knew we had to do something to control the population.”

Even with the restrictions on their ability to reproduce Pomeranz told Humber News many Chinese people are content with having only one child.

“One should remember that birth rates have gone down an awful lot in a lot of places that didn’t force anybody to limit their birth but the combination of urbanization and increasing prosperity tends to reduce that anyway,” said Pomeranz.

As for the future of China’s regulation on the country’s fertility rate Pomeranz said there probably will not be any changes in the near future.

“I suspect that for the foreseeable future there’s going to be some kind of birth planning policy. One-child policy has been a bit of a misnomer for a while because there were various exceptions to it and you could look at what’s been announced now as another big exception.”

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