In 2011, world population reached historic high, exceeding 7 billion accordng to the United Nations, with at least 1.3 billion of which concentrated in China. However as birth rate continues to hit record low across the globe, China is facing daunting social challenges as its rapidly aging population threatens to impede its economic growth. In an opinion piece published by Caijing magazine, Wang Feng examines world population trends and this unique development in China, advocating for fundamental change in the country’s one-child policy before its demographic downward spiral reaches the point of no return.
A big question going forward is '[is China] going to use the same tools to keep it at two [children] as they used for one?' which were quite abusive and in effect were human-rights violations, particularly in rural areas. Coercing pregnant women into abortions if they'd already had one kid, early on forcing them to have sterilizations at least in some parts of China. It was really nasty. Over time, as there was more prosperity, people were more willing and able to pay the fines that were charged, but this will help get the state out of the bedroom up to a point.
For a family-centered society like China going back thousands of years, [the one child policy] was a big change and so this relaxation will enrich family life to some extent, and that's a good thing... [The one child policy] really skewed the male-to-female ratio and it meant [China was] staring at a situation where more and more young men were not going to be able to find brides, which is not a good situation you want in any society.