China Backtracks, Announces Three-Children Policy to Keep Global Economic Domination Ambition Alive

The Chinese government has announced that it has lifted the cap on the number of children one family can have. ln a major policy shift, the Communist government announced that married couples are now allowed to have up to three children. The shift comes after China's once-in-a-decade census revealed that the population of the most populated country on the globe is shrinking fast.

China first started implementing the one-child policy, which is one of the world's most extreme examples of population planning, in 1979. It was initially invoked to slow the rapid rise in the population of the Asian nation, already the most populous in the world. After several years, the policy was revised in 2016 to allow couples to have a maximum of two children.

For many years there have been calls for China's birth control policy to be scraped (C) South China Morning Post

The recent revision of the policy to three children is meant to address the risks to the economy of a population that is rapidly ageing. After a politburo meeting of top Communist Party officials chaired by the country’s President Xi Jinping, the official news channel Xinhua reported that the policy is enacted to “be conducive to improving our country's population structure, fulfilling the country's strategy of actively coping with an ageing population.”

The Chinese government is promising other measures to assist parents who already struggle to raise children under the one-child policy due to the exceedingly high costs of raising a child in present-day China. Speaking to Reuters News Agency, Yifei Li, a sociologist at NYU Shanghai confirmed that “People are held back not by the two-children limit, but by the incredibly high costs of raising children in today's China. Housing, extracurricular activities, food, trips, and everything else add up quickly.”

With a shrinking economy, China changes course to keep her dreams of dominating the world economically alive and strong (C) The New York Times

A census carried out in late 2020  showed that in China, around 12 million babies were born last year - a significant decrease from the 18 million in 2016, and the lowest number of births recorded since the 1960s. One user, commenting on Xinhua news agency following the breaking of the news of the three-child policy remarked, “There are too many big pressures in life at the moment, young people are not willing to have kids.”

As long as these pressures persist and continue to shrink China's labour market, it is safe to say that the desire of the Asian giant to emerge as the most dominant nation in the world may well be hanging in a balance.