China: Two Child Policy Coming

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According to Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Vice Director Cai Fang, China will fully relax their one-child policy in two years. The government has already conducted an experiment to allow some couples to have a second child, and that experiment has led to a decision to expand the two-child policy to all Chinese.

“People wish to choose the number of children they want to have, and they should be given the choice–at least for two children,” said Fang at in interview Thursday, “We will fully relax the policy.”

The Chinese government relaxed its one-child policy last year, allowing couples to have two children if either parent was an only child. Six months later, only three percent (700,000 couples) of all eligible couples applied for a second child.

Cai said that relaxing population control would not significantly increase the Chinese population. Currently, China’s fertility rate is 1.66–considerably below the 2.1 rate needed to sustain a given population.

China is also experiencing a labor shortage, and that shortage is expected to increase–labor supply will increase only 6.2 percent annually up to 2020, according to Cai. A large labor supply is part of the reason for China’s three decades of rapid economic growth.

By Sid Douglas