China Planning to Give Up One-Child Policy

 

China wants to loosen its one child policy which has curbed population growth in the past 4 decades. The new laws, approved by the National People’s Congress, are expected to be introduced in 2015.

The policy change is necessary because more and more Chinese citizens are reaching old age and need pensions. In addition, China will be running out of workers who will continue its economic upward surge. According to the World Bank, there will be a shortage of over a hundred million workers by 2030. By 2050 a quarter of the Chinese population will be over 65.

Without the existing policy China’s population would be well over the 1.3 billion people who live in the country today. Since the one child policy was introduced in 1979 there have been over 300 million abortions and 200 million sterilizations in the People's Republic.

Chinese Family with One Child

Chinese Family with One Child - Daniel Case

 

In the past only ethnic minorities and farmers in the western part of the country have been allowed a second child, especially if the first was a girl. Couples who disobeyed the government policy were punished or experienced a loss of income. Many couples had abortions based on pre-birth examinations. In cities rich couples often paid high fines to have a second child.

Demographic experts doubt if loosening the one child policy will start a new baby boom in China. Other Asian states have shown that becoming a growing economy does not necessarily mean larger families.

Politicians who have made the decision say that in the past China’s one child policy has been very effective in limiting population growth. The birth rate has dropped to 1.5 per thousand of the population, a figure which can be compared to western countries.

Under the new policy, a couple is allowed to have two children if one parent is a single child.

 

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Words

  • abortion = a medical operation that ends the life of an unborn baby
  • according to = as reported by
  • approve = to say yes, agree to
  • baby boom = increase in the number of babies born in a certain period of time
  • based on =depending on
  • billion = a thousand million
  • birth rate = number of babies born per one thousand people
  • citizen = person who lives in a country and has rights there
  • curb = slow down
  • decade = a period of ten years
  • demographic = about the population
  • disobey = if you do not do as someone tells you to
  • doubt = are not sure
  • economic = about trade , industry and how a country manages its money
  • effective = good, useful
  • especially = above all
  • ethnic minority = group of people of a different race or who have a different language than most of the people in a country
  • existing = current, present, right now
  • figure = number
  • fine = money you pay as a punishment for doing something against the law
  • growth = to grow, becoming larger
  • in addition = also
  • introduce = here: start
  • law = a rule that a person of a country must follow
  • limit = control
  • loosen = to make laws less strict
  • loss of income = to lose some of the money that you get by doing your job
  • necessary = needed
  • pension = money you get from the government when you are old and don’t work any more
  • policy = way of doing something that has been agreed on by a party or organization
  • politician = person who works in the government or in politics
  • pre-birth = before a child is born
  • punish = to make you suffer if you have done something against the law
  • quarter = here: 25 %
  • shortage = not enough
  • single child = without any brothers or sisters
  • sterilization = to have an operation to stop someone from having or producing babies
  • surge = movement