China ends one-child policy

2016 will be the first New Year in China since the government ended the controversial one-child policy.

For the last 35 years, China’s family planning rules have restricted couples to just one child, as part of the Communist Party’s plan to control the population in China.

The policy is believed to have prevented the births of 400 million children in China since the policy was introduced in 1980.

Changing the restriction from one child per family to two has been driven by the government’s new aim to introduce financial reforms in China, and growing concerns about the health of the Chinese economy.

Announcing the end of the one-child policy – which has always been seen as draconian in many parts of the world, and against fundamental human rights – the Chinese Government said China will “fully implement a policy of allowing each couple to have two children as an active response to an ageing population”.

The policy was first introduced amid concerns of a population boom in China with the potential to destabilise the country. But 35 years on, the situation is now very different in China.

Experts – both in and outside China – have been warning for a long time that the country’s low fertility rate, which is somewhere between 1.2 and 1.5 children per woman, was pushing China towards a social and economic crisis.

Commenting on the new policy, Dana Denis-Smith, Obelisk’s founder and CEO said:

Having a child and growing your family is the greatest joy in life, so I welcome the end of the one-child policy in China for couples who want to have more than child. This has been a human rights issue for 35 years, so to see it come to an end is very positive. But we should take this moment in history to remember and to look at the impact on parents, and so often especially on women, when families grow in the modern world. Issues such as child care, equal pay and the ability to work flexibly are critical issues, in China and the world over. We all need to be able to make work, work – for businesses, for staff and their families. So as we look forward to 2016 let’s celebrate family life in China by not just focusing on the number of children but on the quality of life for everyone in the family.