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China’s Move To End Its One Child Policy Is Too Little, Too Late

The article below by IWP Research Professor Paul Coyer was published in Forbes.

Yesterday, the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, meeting to shape the 13th five year economic plan, announced the ending of China’s infamous jihua shengyu (planned fertility program), better known as its one-child policy. Xinhua briefly announced that “The change of policy is intended to balance population development and address the challenge of an ageing population.” The announcement amounts to a recognition in Zhongnanhai that China’s demographic challenge threatens not only its continued rise, but possibly also the very survival of the regime. 

The attempt to change the very negative demographic trends, however, is a case of “too little, too late”. The child-bearing choices of China’s young couples have as much to do with the high cost of raising a child in China’s urban areas as they do with the leadership’s aggressive thirty-plus year campaign to restrict child-bearing to one child per couple, and Beijing’s move is as unlikely to alter now entrenched behavior as it is to lessen the fallout from a rapidly ageing population.

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