Many Chinese parents they can’t afford a second child despite Beijing easing its family planning policy. Paul Chapman reports.
Parents hesitant over China’s two-child plan
China’s easing of family planning policy to allow families to have two children instead of just one hasn’t got all parents jumping for joy.
Under the new policy all couples can now have two children if they wish.
Parents at this kindergarten in Beijing say lifestyle and financial pressure is curbing their enthusiasm.
(SOUNDBITE)(Mandarin) 30-YEAR-OLD MOTHER XU LILI SAYING:
“Because, considering my work is really hectic and my child is still little, we were never planning to have a second baby, so this new two-child policy for me doesn’t have that big an impact.”
(SOUNDBITE)(Mandarin) KONG LINDE, MOTHER WORKING FOR THE GOVERNMENT, SAYING:
“We haven’t paid off our mortgage. The other thing is that expense of raising one child is already really high so we’re worried about how to bring up a second child.”
Joseph Cheng, retired professor of political science at Hong Kong’s City University, says the change should bring an end to some abuses.
(SOUNDBITE)(English) JOSEPH CHENG, RETIRED PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AT CITY UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG, SAYING:
“The very strict planned-family policy has caused a lot of hardships in families such as forced abortions, forced sterilisations and so on, and also, in turn, generated quite a bit of corruption because relatively well-off rural families tend to bribe the local officials to have more children, especially when their first child is a girl.”
China’s facing some major problems.
In 2012, for the first time in decades China’s working age population fell.
By about the middle of the century it’s predicted a third of Chinese people will be over 60.
It could be the first country in the world to get old before it gets rich.