China Ends Two-Child Policy; Allows Families Have Three Children

The People’s Republic of China has scrapped the two-child policy and has allowed families resident in China have three children. This new move was in a bid to avert a population crisis in China due to the recent declining birthrates.

The New York Times reports that births in China have fallen for four consecutive years, including in 2020 when the number of babies dropped to the lowest since the Mao era. Also, the country’s fertility rate – an estimate of the number of children born over a woman’s lifetime – now stands at 1.3, well below the replacement rate of 2.1, raising the possibility of a shrinking population over time.

The new policy by the Chinese Government has raised concerns from international bodies and reproductive rights activists. “Opening it up to three children is far from enough,” said Huang Wenzheng, a demography expert with the Center for China and Globalization, a Beijing-based research center. “It should be fully liberalized, and giving birth should be strongly encouraged.”

“This should be regarded as a crisis for the survival of the Chinese nation, even beyond the pandemic and other environmental issues,” Mr. Huang added. “There should never have been a birth restriction policy in the first place. So it’s not a question of whether this is too late.”

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