China's one-child policy conundrum (December 12 2012) China’s one-child policy conundrum (December 12 2012)

Anne Gonschorek the German multimedia freelance journalist and video reporter for China Radio International has published an article on Aljazeera titled ‘China’s one-child policy conundrum’ stating that amid a soaring population of elderly Chinese, new leadership in Beijing is expected to review the decades-old policy. Gonschorek states “China’s fast-ageing population threatens a demographic disaster with too few young people to care for the elderly – a major problem that may lead to a review of the country’s contentious one-child policy. One-third of Chinese will be 60 or older by 2053, according to estimates by the National Committee on Ageing. There will be more than 200 million senior citizens in the country by the end of 2013. While the one-child policy has been recognised for limiting China’s population to 1.3 billion people, its demographic ramifications are now becoming clear. Many researchers are of the opinion that the policy has profoundly aggravated China’s ageing crisis. The China Development Research Foundation, a think-tank with close ties to China’s leaders, recently wrote a surprising report denouncing the one-child policy and calling for its abolishment. “China has paid a huge political and social cost for the policy, as it has resulted in social conflict, high administrative costs and led indirectly to a long-term gender imbalance at birth,” the report said. According to the government, the one-child policy reduced hundreds of millions of births since it came into effect in 1979 under former leader Deng Xiaoping, and helped to lift countless families out of poverty. However, the policy has now burdened a young workforce. The one-child generation must support the large, ageing population. Effectively, the one child will now have to care for two parents and four grandparents.”


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