The Corner

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China to End Control on Births?

A video screen in Beijing broadcasts President Xi Jinping’s address at the Communist Party congress. (Reuters photo: Tyrone Siu)

When I traveled to China for a two-week tour in 2016, our guide spoke about the “One Child” policy and how it affected his family. It seems that his mother was six months pregnant when the policy went into effect, and she was forced to abort our guide’s sibling. The brutality of what happened to our guide’s family hit all of us like a punch in the gut. Frankly, I was surprised by his frankness.

The One Child policy was a disaster, as most authoritarian policies are. China’s demographic equilibrium was destroyed. There are now tens of million more men than women in China because of sex-selection abortions and female infanticides that resulted directly from the birth restrictions.

Not only that, but China’s population did not shrink. Rather, the rate of growth slowed, demonstrating the kind of tyranny it would take to really lower the world’s human population — as often pushed by assorted global-warming hysterics and radical environmentalists.

To rectify the problems its birth policy caused, the Politburo decided to allow Chinese couples to have two children. (Big of them.) This wasn’t because Communist Party minions believe in freedom, but rather, an attempt to deploy centralized control to fix the disaster their earlier diktat created.

Now, the the rulers may have finally given up attempts to control China’s population altogether. From the Bloomberg story:

China is planning to scrap all limits on the number of children a family can have, according to people familiar with the matter, in what would be a historic end to a policy that spurred countless human-rights abuses and left the world’s second-largest economy short of workers.

The State Council, China’s cabinet, has commissioned research on the repercussions of ending the country’s roughly four-decade-old policy and intends to enact the change nationwide, said the people, who asked not to be named while discussing government deliberations. The leadership wants to reduce the pace of aging in China’s population and remove a source of international criticism, one of the people said.

Proposals under discussion would replace the population-control policy with one called “independent fertility,” allowing people to decide how many children to have, the person said. The decision could be made as soon as the fourth quarter, the second person said, adding that the announcement might also be pushed into 2019.

The blood on the hands of China’s rulers from its population-control policies cannot be quantified. Nor can the misery and grief their tyranny over family life caused the Chinese people.

My heart was touched by the clear and open love Chinese parents and grandparents have for their children. Let us hope that the government really does finally let Chinese families bloom.

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