Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

China to maintain its family planning policy: official [Xinhua]


Family planning: China pledges to continue keeping its population in check.

Li Bin, director of the The National Population and Family Planning Commission (国家人口和计划生育委员会) acknowledges over-population as a major challenge to socio-economic development. This other document from 2006 building on its 1994 vision of China Agenda 21, with detailed future goals – defines the mid 21st century as the apex of China’s population growth, tipping what it sees as its optimum ceiling at 1.6 billion.

This is where Chinese planners see its socio-economic system running at its most ‘rational’ with a per capita income at the level of medium-developed countries. It also suggests that the milestone of balance was always a target, a trait synonymous with Chinese philosophy in a societal ideal where harmony and ‘balance will be struck between population and economy, society, natural resources and environment.’ This is when ‘the nation, in short, will have achieved modernization;’ its fundamental goal all along.

Along with that, is an effort visible throughout China in the form of public service messages covering every permutation of media to remind the Chinese to ‘return’ to a more ‘civilized’ society (click for a light-hearted example).

I am however unsure how this can be carried out in practice as the Chinese become more affluent and with the one-child policy progressively being relaxed.

It may have had its criticisms, tragedies and consequences (For every 100 girls born in 2010, 118 boys were born) but Li argues China’s population would have breached 1.7 billion otherwise, creating ‘more difficulties for society’. Perhaps the overarching political goal had a utilitarian insight carried out in a ‘hard way’, fingers crossed that the 21st century ruling party adapts to its evolved citizenry, and continues bettering and building a ‘favorable environment for the country’s economic development and social stability’.

– – –

China to maintain its family planning policy: official
Editor: Tang Danlu
Xinhua, published October 30, 2011

Photo taken on July 19, 2011 shows people queuing for visiting at the Tian’anmen Square in Beijing, capital of China. The world’s population will reach 7 billion on October 31, according to the United Nations. (Xinhua/Wan Xiang)

BEIJING, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) — China will adhere to its family planning policy so as to maintain a low reproduction rate, said the country’s family planning chief on Sunday, expected to be the eve of the world’s population reaching seven billion.

“Over-population remains one of the major challenges to social and economic development,” said Li Bin, director of the State Population and Family Planning Commission in an exclusive interview with Xinhua, adding that the population of China will hit 1.45 billion in 2020.

Li said maintaining and improving the existing family planning policy and keeping a low reproduction rate, along with addressing the issues of gender imbalance and an aging population, will be the major tasks in the future.

Li’s words came just one day before Oct. 31, the day on which the United Nations estimates the world’s population will reach seven billion.

Zhai Zhenwu, a leading Chinese demographer, said earlier in the past week that China’s family planning policy had postponed this day for at least five years, as it prevented 400 million people from being added to the country’s population, which is 1.34 billion at present.

“The population of China would have hit 1.7 billion had it not been for the family planning policy, and it would have created more difficulties for society,” said Li.

The most populous nation in the world, China introduced its family planning policy, often referred to as the “one-child policy”, in the late 1970s to curb pressure on the environment and resources.

Li said the policy has made a favorable environment for the country’s economic development and social stability by alleviating demand for fundamentals including education, employment and housing.

Thanks to the policy, China’s average education term has reached nine years and its population’s life expectancy 73.5 years. In addition, maternal mortality rates and infant mortality rates are among the lowest in all developing countries.

China is focusing more on the all-round development and the livelihood of the people. It is a model of poverty relief efforts for developing countries, said Li.

“The Chinese government seriously fulfills the World Population Plan of Action and the Millennium Development Goals set by the United Nations, making positive contributions to the world’s population development,” said Li.

However, Li said that besides overpopulation, China is still facing other population-related challenges, including gender imbalance and an aging population.

For every 100 girls born in 2010, 118 boys were born. And 13.26 percent of China’s population are aged 60 or above. It is expected the ratio will hit one third, or 440 million, by 2050. One fifth of the population will be 80 years of age or older in 2050, according to Li.

Although the average education term has been extended, the rate of higher educated people in the main labor force stands only 12 percent, which still lags far behind the average level in developed countries.

In the meantime, the rate of infant defects in recent years has stood at four percent to six percent, and people with disabilities account for 6.34 percent of the aggregate population, said Li.

“We must stick to the existing policy, raise the quality of the population and optimize its structure, so as to reach the sustainable development of population, society, environment and economy,” Li said.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Confucius, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Health, Human Rights, Influence, Infrastructure, Modernisation, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, xinhua

One Response

  1. John & Sherry Dale reblogged this on John & Sherry's Blog and commented: This is a great idea. I think others should follow as well!

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