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China Demography Commentary

Opinion: China’s one-child policy has led to the country’s serious economic and social problems

Although China may still overcome its current demographic issues due to the nature of its system, what awaits the aging Western societies, writes Grzegorz Górny

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Grzegorz Górny

A few days ago, the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party made the decision to step away from the “onechild policy” written into the Chinese constitution in 1982 (since 2016 it has been transformed into a “second-child policy). Moreover, China’s policy of promoting few children is now being completely reversed. Beijing has decided that the government will now encourage families to have three children.

This change stems from the alarmist data from the National Statistics Office, which shows that increasingly fewer children are being born in China (in 2020 only 12 million were born compared to 18 million in 2016). There are also increasingly fewer people of working age (6.79 percent decrease since 2010), the Chinese population is rapidly aging (by 2050 a third of it will be over 60 years old) and the social and pension systems are threatening to collapse.

Experts are warning that if the government does not reverse this trend, then China will cease to develop as rapidly as it is now. The country may also enter permanent economic regression and lose out on its rivalry with the United States.

Through its decision, China’s Communist Party has admitted that the anti-natalist policy introduced by Deng Xiaoping in 1979 turned out to be a failure and has led to serious economic and social issues.

To think that for all these years China has been presented as an example to be followed by all sorts of different non-government and UN organizations. China was meant to be a role model for achieving a policy of equalized development and conscious family planning.