NEWS > Mainland
Advisors say it's time to change one-child policy
2007-03-15 01:37:44 Shanghai Daily

SHANGHAI, Mar 15 -- TWENTY-NINE Chinese top political advisors have spoken out against the nation's family planning policy, saying that it may be time to abandon the decade-long one-child policy and restore it to the previous practice to allow people to have two kids.

Though the one-child policy has played a key role in curbing the rising Chinese population since the 1980s, 10 years after China carried out a national family planning project, the negative side of the policy has now emerged after years of practice, said Ye Tingfang, one of the sponsors of the proposal, the Shaanxi-based Huashang Daily reported today.

Therefore the government may need to abolish the policy as soon as possible, the proposal stated.

The proposal was submitted to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the top political advisory body, which ended today.

The proposal also suggested that it may be a proper time to introduce the previous policy again to back up a family's right to decide whether to have one or two kids, Ye said, who is also a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

One child is too few for a family but two would be enough, Ye said, explaining the guideline of the proposal.

Formulated in the 1970s, China's family planning policy encourages "later in life" marriages and childbearing, and limits most urban couples to one child and most rural couples to two.

Violators of the policy face a fine which amounts to at least four times the local average annual income. For government workers, they will also be punished by the Party and their administration if they have more than one child.

"The one child in a family usually has no siblings to play with during their upbringing and has to center on their parent's attention all the time, which oppresses their human nature and the child's maturity," Ye said.

"Love between kids and parents, couples, siblings and cousins are all essentials to ones upbringing," said Ye. "Yet, children now in our country may not even be blessed to have cousins, which is a serious handicap to their nature and may lead to personality flaws."

The first generation under the one-child policy is now at the right age for marriage.

Besides, in the eyes of sociologists, a family frame composed of four grandparents, two parents and one child is not a rational option and may be an unbearable burden for a couple as it is both costly to get a child admitted to schools and to take the elderly to see a doctor, Ye added.

The government has just announced this month that it will step up efforts to monitor celebrities and the rich that have more children than the state family planning policy allows.

In Shanghai, couples are allowed to have two kids if both are the only child in their family.

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