One-child policy unchanged: Shanghai official

0 CommentsPrintE-mail Global Times, September 8, 2009
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Under pressure

Writing about relationship issues since 2005, A Certain Shun blogger Yu Shunshun gets 50,000 hits a day:

"Nowadays, the rich raise children with no intention of relying on them in their retirement," opined the 40-year-old mother-of-two. "The rich who have a second child want to enjoy having a prosperous family and their children having the company of siblings.

"However, even though they say they feed the children on their own, their children still use social resources and burden the whole of society, objectively speaking."

Although it has its benefits, the Chinese mainland's unique method for controlling the population has created a situation where one adult child is often expected to support two parents and four grandparents.

This in turn leaves the older generation more dependent on retirement funds or charity. If a child cannot care for his parents and grandparents, or if that child dies young, the elder might find himself destitute.

In 2007 all provinces but Henan allowed families where both parents were an only child to have two children, and according to a "spokesman of the one-child policy committee 11 percent or more of the population qualified for two children," reported on July 10, 2007.

Yu confessed with candor that her twins had tested her finances and she sometimes envied those who wanted a second child.

"They have so much spare time and money," she wrote. "They are so positive about finding the extra means."

She concluded the principle should be whether or not your family can support two children. "If you are too poor to have a second child," she wrote, "then don't join in the fun."

Fast facts: urban population control

As a solution to the aging population, Shanghai on April 15, 2004 promulgated Regulations of Shanghai Population and Family Planning, fine–tuning its one-child policy.

The city

1. no longer encouraged couples not to have a child;

2. abolished the original retirement incentive policy to married couples without children;

3. canceled the restraint on the interval between childrens births.

Under some conditions, couples can apply for a second child:

1.both are only children;

2. one spouse has a rural residency hukou while the other is an only child;

3. the first child has been diagnosed by medical agencies in the district, county or city as suffering a non-hereditary disability and will suffer a severe disadvantage in working for a living;

4. one spouse has been diagnosed as having a non-hereditary disability that seriously affects his or her ability to work for a living;

5. one spouse is certified as a severely disabled veteran.

A 2008 survey by the Pew Research Center found more than 76 percent of the Chinese population supports the population control policy of the People's Republic of China.

The government introduced the policy in 1979 and says the policy has prevented more than 250 million births since its implementation to 2000.

Critics typically cite an increase in forced abortions, female infanticide and gender imbalance.

The National Population and Family Planning Commission has said it will remain in place for at least another decade.

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