In 2013, China instituted an exception in the one-child policy, allowing for a second child if either of the parents was an only child. Three years later, it allowed married couples to have two children, and phased out the one-child policy.
The Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee has announced that it will be bringing in a three-child policy in the country. By supporting couples with three children, the government aims to respond to the increasing ageing population in China, and sustain adequate labour force participation.
The move comes after a review of policies to respond to the increasing ageing population in the 14th Five Year Plan period (2021-2025), chaired by President Xi Jinping. In 2020, China’s ageing population (60 and above), was at 18.7% of the total population. This is 5.44 points higher than the ageing population in 2010.
Ning Jizhe, head of National Bureau of Statistics, speaking to Telesur news, stated that such a move is aimed to ensure adequate labour participation.
“The country’s increasing elderly population will reduce supply in the labor force while increasing the burden on families’ elderly care and the pressure on the supply of basic public services”.
Chen Youhua, a sociology professor at Nanjing University also mentioned how the move is a step towards a “birth friendly society” in the country, as it would take a great pressure off of parents when it comes to having more children.
The Chinese Govt, has hailed the one-child and other birth control policies for reducing shortage in food and water in the country. However there has been discontent towards the policy with economic sanctions and forced abortions used to enforce reproductive limits. The new three child policy is a welcome move considering this as it also reduces individual burden on parents.