China to Ditch Its One-Child Policy as Ageing Crisis Looms

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph (London), August 4, 2013

China’s new leaders are close to abandoning the country’s one-child policy, belatedly moving to avert an ageing crunch as the work force goes into sharp decline.

The official news agency Xinhua reported that the Family Planning Commission is studying proposals to lift the ban on a second child, if either parent is an only child. The body’s spokesman said aim is to “improve” family policy, confirming leaks to Chinese newspapers that a major shift is in the works. The new rules are expected to come into force early next year, and may be extended to cover all families by 2015.

Jun Ma from Deutsche Bank said the new policies should shore up the pension system and inject stimulus as China’s growth sputters. “As tens of millions of sibling-less people in China are now entering their child-bearing age, we expect this policy shift would induce a baby boom,” he said.

The one-child policy dates back to 1971 in its original form and has led to 336m abortions and 222m sterilisations, often badly executed in poor regions. Recent abuses have caused uproar, with photos circulating on the internet of a young mother lying beside a fully formed baby after she had been seized by police for failing to pay the “social compensation fee” for an illegal child. She was forced to undergo an abortion just before her natural birth.

Premier Li Keqiang clearly views the policy an anachronism at a time when China is running out of workers, and faces a demographic time-bomb. There are currently five workers for every pensioner. This ratio will fall to two by 2035.

The policy has always been a patchwork of measures. Ethnic minorities are exempted. Farmers are allowed a second child if the first is a girl. The urban middle class can usually pay the fine, barely enforced in Shanghai where fertility rates are collapsing for other reasons. The shift in policy may come too late to avert an ageing shock. The workforce shrank by 3m last year, an inflection point that has come sooner than expected.

The International Monetary Fund said the working age population will soon go into “precipitous decline”. The “reserve army” of rural poor looking for work peaked in 2010 at around 150m. This surplus will disappear soon after 2020. The IMF said there will be a labour shortage of almost 140m workers by the early 2030s with “far-reaching implications”.

Demographers say it is unclear whether a two-child policy will set off a baby boom. Fertility rates plunged in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong as they became richer, due to a complex interplay of culture and economics.

China is unique in growing old before it is rich, but this may not be a bad thing. Lauren Johnston from Peking University said it was better to get a demographic crisis out the way early. Baby boomers in the West and Japan have swept through like a “plague of locusts”, leaving the next generation to cover a colossal debt burden and gilded pensions. “It is much worse to get rich first. What gets left behind is crumbs,” she said.

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  • Spartacus

    Their demography isn’t gonna improve, at least not if they don’t take other steps, beyond repealing the 1-child policy. If I were leading China now, I’d go for a one-son policy, and let them have as many daughters as they want . That way, they’d have a surplus of women, which would help lower social tensions, and possibly create a new class all-together : That of the woman who dedicates herself to her career, and helps her brother(s) support her parents .

    • Magician

      I absolutely agree!

      A society simply cannot run properly when there is a lack of girls

    • Le Fox

      Precisely. In Japan, each woman would have to have 20 children to restore the population to historical measures. I assume it would be higher for Chinese women.

  • Puggg

    Demography? Isn’t China crowded enough already?

  • IstvanIN

    The one child policy would have worked out a lot better if the Chinese had just let nature take its course rather than insist on a boy, which created the sex imbalance. Perhaps a national pension system so that parents weren’t so dependent on a son to support them in their old age.

    China is way overcrowded and should just bite the bullet and let the population plunge. The entire world-wide obsession that an economy can only grow and remain stable with a never ending population increase is long overdue to be scrapped. And if China needs more people why not a law of return for the huge Chinese diaspora?

    • Northerner

      They’re not the Borg. You can’t just bring back a bunch of people to their ancestral homeland. They have lives outside their country of origin, and many of them probably weren’t even born in China. It would be as ridiculous as trying to get White people worldwide to go back to Europe.

      • IstvanIN

        Borg? What a stupid comment. But it is Ok for Mexicans, Indians and Muslims to invade our nations? It is called immigration. Lots of people have lives out side their nations of origin and start new lives. Germany and Israel had right of return laws. At least Chinese people moving to China would be ethnically the same as the people already there and would blend in better.

        • Northerner

          China’s diaspora of 50 million is a drop in the bucket compared to its population. Even if they were successful in getting some people to return, it wouldn’t solve anything. Those who were raised in the West probably have no real connection to China either.

          • IstvanIN

            Oh please, NJ is full of “off the boat” types, as I am sure the rest of the nation is. If their forebears could adapt to the west, they could adapt to the east. Why is immigration always a one-way street to take our lands?

          • Northerner

            The rest of the nation? Dude, how many Chinese do you think there are in the U.S? There are people in the South and Midwest who have never seen an Asian person in their life. Also, immigration isn’t a one way street. No one’s stopping you from going elsewhere. So go ahead, take someones land (as you call it). They’ll tell you it’s perfectly consistent with European history.

          • IstvanIN

            Dude, I am not going anywhere. I am sure there are plenty of Chinese in every major metropolitan area, coast to coast. Of course the northeast and northwest are the most infested.

            At least we know who’s side you’re on.

          • Northerner

            Half the guys here are in mixed relationships. They don’t even follow white nationalist ideals. Feel free to make judgements about whose “side” they’re on too, and you’ll realize how futile it is.

          • itdoesnotmatter

            I agree with your drawing attention to AmRen race realist White men who are married, dating, or drawn to Asian women.
            I don’t buy the excuse that too many White women are either femNazis or dykes, therefore, we White men must seek out more feminine Asian women.
            Or, a White woman wouldn’t have me. Come on.
            In my view, a White race realist who out-marries and breeds is hypocritical, gene tainting, race betraying no matter the excuse. We Whites need to keep it White or perish.

          • Chris Granzow XI

            I can only speak for the midwest, but that’s definitely not the case. In Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis etc. you see plenty of asians. In small towns and cities in Wisconsin and Minnesota (st. cloud, rochester, la crosse, eau claire, wausau) asians are ubiquitous. The same goes for the south, especially places like Arkansas and SC.

          • me

            What are you saying? You think that Europeans weren’t the FIRST ones on this continent? You must have got straight A’s in class, for swallowing all of the pablum you were spoon-fed. White countries are being INVADED–not through bullets and battles, but through the insidious and sneaky made-up ‘laws’ of the elite, and the zombies who blindly follow. Welcome to the New World Order of corporate, governmental, and banking slavery.

          • Sick of it

            In the past 10 years I’ve started seeing Asians in rural towns in the middle of nowhere in Louisiana.

          • Greg Thomas

            Illegal invading mexicans have no connection to the United States, but that has not slowed their invasion. They can make new “connections.”

    • Rhialto

      Many years ago, I read an article by a statistics professor (and Roman Catholic priest) predicting this situation. He described what would happen if a population began reproducing at exactly the rate to stabilize the current population after a period of rapid expansion. The result that he predicted was the old people being supported by too few workers. This is the situation in many developed countries today. Of course, he never imagined that massive immigration would be used to alleviate the worker shortage.

      • IstvanIN

        I would rather see a natural decrease than one caused by disease and famine. Smart societies can learn to deal with it. The Japanese seem to be trying. Better than importing peasants.

    • Jesse James

      I agree as to the madness of measuring the soundness of a national economy by growth. In a world of finite resources and an ever growing population it seems like we should be seeking balance – yes even what the left calls sustainability.

      I still haven’t gotten over how the leftist educators all through the 70s and early 80s pushed zero population growth as the goal for white America. I remember how they said we should look to stabilize the population at below 220 million or so. Somehow once the damage was done to white birth rates by luring women into the work place, encouraging homosexuality, voluntary sterilization, easy birth control, abortion levels that would please Baal, and the DINK (dual income no kids) lifestyle suddenly all that talk about keeping the US population low is completely forgotten.

      Instead now we are also supposed to welcome and never ending flood of non-white immigrants with alien cultures and exalt our own pending minority status as the egg headed college traitors herald an estimated mid-century population of 4-500 million.

      • Franklin_Ryckaert

        It was a ruse to promote White genocide all along.

    • Stentorian_Commentator

      Or they could go the U.S. route, which is to import millions of sullen, hateful browns and blacks who could eventually exterminate them. I wonder why they haven’t thought of that?

  • Magician

    China, India and Japan must also abandon the “boys are superior to girls” mentality!

    • Northerner

      Boys are preferred over girls in the U.S. too, by a 40% to 28% margin according to the 2011 Gallup poll. Attitudes today are still similar to those back in the 1940s.

      • ncpride

        Just wondering if the larger preference for boys has to do with carrying on the family name? Or, they think boys are less expensive to raise than girls…?

        • Northerner

          Most of China is poor and rural. Boys are needed to work on farms and are considered more able to help their parents in old age (i.e., a more stable future). This is essentially true for every developing country.

        • ShermanTMcCoy

          More likely it has to do with the number of third worlders in the US now.

    • Bossman

      That alone makes them stupid as far as I’m concerned.

  • Sure, because the world is suffering for a lack of Chinese people.

    Reality check: There are more Han Chinese in China than there are white people in the whole world.

    • Northerner

      That says more about white fecundity (or the lack of it), than anything else. Keep in mind that China is ancient. They’re huge population didn’t happen overnight. It was already 400 million at the beginning of the 20th century… and that was before they had modern medicine.

    • 48224

      Well, they think they have to make more babies or start importing Africans. Which would you do?

      America should adopt a “one crack baby” policy. If your IQ is below “x amount” you can only have one child. Get your tubes tied and receive a cash bonus from Uncle Sam.
      This is the opposite of the policy we have now which is paying low IQ folks to HAVE children through food stamps and bridge cards.

  • cecilhenry

    1.3 billion people and you don;t think they have a population problem

    Meanwhile any excess population is used to excuse Chinese immigration to others nations including the WEst where we get ….. White dispossession and Genocide.

    Whether they’re over or underpopulated, the white man is somehow expected to make amends for the problem.

    • Stentorian_Commentator

      Yes, as the blogger Unamusement Park pointed out, it’s not that there’s a double standard when it comes to whites. It’s a single standard, to wit, screw whitey!

  • Daniel Schmuhl

    I wouldn’t mind if their numbers increase and they colonize Africa.

  • CoweringCoward

    Any word on getting Africa to adopt a NO CHILD policy? That would really mean something.

  • Luca

    Japan, is home to some of the smartest people in the world. They are about the only Asian nation still concerned about population control. I believe they see the bigger picture.

    Virtually every problem in the world, can be traced to overpopulation and poor political solutions.

  • GeneticsareDestiny

    China will be better off in the long run if they keep their fertility low. China is overcrowded as it is, and a plunge in the amount of available workers will send wages up. If they can get past the hard times of supporting the massive amounts of elderly, they could stabilize their population at a new, lower level, leading to better living conditions for all Chinese.

  • me

    This will be the crisis of the Twenty-First Century if China lifts its ban on the one child policy. The results of overpopulation in China in the next twenty years may force an aggressive campaign of land grabs and natural resource seizures in order to feed and provide for the country’s burgeoning and hungry citizens. It certainly won’t bode well for Western civilization, no matter how you look at it. Life holds little value when there’s a surplus population–even more so, if you are fighting for your people’s survival, above all else. The Chinese, unlike other races, have always looked out for themselves with little regard for other groups of people. This could be the beginning of the next world tragedy, considering China’s philosophical and political attitudes towards the value of the individual. Eastern and Western philosophies are much different, and this could play out on the international stage as another World War.

  • me

    That’s because the fools in power only see their god Mammon, and refuse to see how they’re destroying Western civilization and it’s peoples. They see no intrinsic value in race or culture, and actually use the excuse of ‘multiculturalism’ to destroy ethnic peoples. They would like nothing more than to have an entire planet of corporate and governmental slaves. We are valued only for our production capabilities, and are entirely expendable to the monsters of commerce. They even exchange our ‘birth certificate’ numbers on Wall Street, sacrifice our children in wars for profit, and seize anything of value for themselves through incessant and increasing taxation and inflation, If not stopped, these money monsters may destroy the world with their insatiable greed for more, more, more. The sociopaths are in charge, and it’s ruining the world.

  • Northern American-Nationalist

    Labor shortages everywhere with no relief in sight! OH NO.

    Thank God because now those multiplying Africans will be useful and REQUIRED in even the newly prosperous nations outside the Western world!

    . . . I’m skeptical of all these labor shortages in every industry and every successful society on Earth to say the least. Big business and radical social engineers found common ground after all it seems. . .

    “Diversity” or robot overlords? Western or Japonic methods for dealing with this “crisis?” I don’t know which one may be worse, but I think the Japanese will remain relatively true to who are they at the end of the day, and the West will experience an ethnic renaissance or perish into cosmopolitan oblivion.

  • Massinissa

    The discrepancies in the male/female ratio are too negligible to draw conclusions from it.
    Arabs have more males and they have done bad.

  • Massinissa

    Actually, overpopulation of non-Whites is due to White interference, not to nature taking its course.
    If Whites hadn’t been feeding the Africans for decades, those wouldn’t have been able to replicate as much as they did. And still are.