Newborn quadruplets lie in a cart in 2010 at a hospital in Hefei, China. Young Chinese adults born under the nation's one-child policy are planning their families based on personal experience as Chinese government officials debate the future of the state 's population control strategy
Catholic News Service
Young Chinese adults born under the nation’s one-child policy are planning their families based on personal experience as Chinese government officials debate the future of the state’s population control strategy.
Many cite issues such as loneliness growing up and pressure as an adult to take care of elders as reasons to have more than one child. Others recall families with multiple children separated by economic pressures.
“My plan is to have a boy, and then a daughter and, after six years, I wish to have one more, maybe a girl,” said Teresa Li, who arrived in Manila early this year from Wenzhou City, China, to study.
“Even our classmates and friends, when we get together and talk about how many children we want to have, most of them want two or three,” said the 21-year-old environmental engineering graduate.
The Chinese government imposed its one-child policy in 1979 to curb the growth of the population that, at that time, was reaching 972 million people. The policy most strictly applies to Han Chinese living in urban areas of the country, but not to ethnic minorities around China. Han families in rural areas can apply to have a second child if the first child is a girl. A government census report recorded a mainland Chinese population of 1.34 billion people. In 2013, there were reportedly 200 million senior citizens and a labor force that had shrunk by 3.5 million in 2012, even though the one-child policy has been relaxed slightly through the years. A Chinese government think tank proposed replacing the one-child policy with a nationwide two-child policy by 2015. The debate continues among senior officials in China’s new government.