Jan. 24, 2007
A couple of weeks ago, I noted here that China's one-child policy, along with sex-selective abortions, contributed to what is becoming a dangerous gender imbalance. According to a recent AP story, China has just renewed their one-child policy, despite the evidence that females are vanishing:
[Zhang Weiqing, minister of the National Population and Family Planning Commission] said China's basic policy -- in effect since the late 1970s -- was reviewed and renewed without change last month. The policy limits urban couples to one child and rural families to two to control the population and conserve natural resources. Beijing says it has helped prevent 400 million births and has aided the nation's rapid economic development.
Lest the "prevention of births" in favor of rapid economic development seem too life-affirming, the Chinese government is taking new steps:
China has about 1.3 billion people -- 20 percent of the global total. The government has pledged to keep the population under 1.36 billion by 2010 and under 1.45 billion by 2020, Zhang said.
It's frightful to think what might happen if the number of births began to exceed the government's pledged limit. We can only hope that PRC leaders would eat their words and move on. Besides, according to Zhang, growing up without brothers or sisters is a good thing:
"They are much better off than I was, being one of four kids," said Zhang, 62. "I envy them."
I hope his siblings don't read this...