Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Take Two China Relaxes a Repressive Family Policy

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Take Two China Relaxes a Repressive Family Policy

Article excerpt

China, the world's most populous country, announced the end of its controversial one-child policy last week. After 35 years of population control enforced by fines and, in some places, involuntary abortion and sterilization, the communist nation said it will allow couples to have two children without penalty.

The surprise decision is more likely prompted by troubling demographic change rather than a new concern for human rights. An aging population, combined with gender imbalance among young adults, has become a greater worry for the government than overcrowded cities.

The government said the old policy, from 1979, prevented 400 million births and made families better off by conserving limited resources.

That's remarkable spin given that, in order to have a generation of only-children, Chinese women were subjected to forced abortion and sterilization if they were unable to pay fines from the government, and there have been reports of female infanticide by couples determined that their only child be male because of longstanding cultural mores. …

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