China's one-child policy changes to fix demographic deficit
The Chinese Communist Party's announcement arrived with little fanfare yesterday. But it will transform family life for millions of citizens.
China's long-standing "one-child policy" is no more. All families may now have two children.
The one-child policy had enormous ripple effects across society. Girls were often disposed of, or sent away to be adopted, as families waited for boys to be born ... causing both great pain, and a national gender imbalance.
Just as demographic forces ushered in the policy 35 years ago to help stem runaway population growth, demographic forces appear to be behind this new easing.
Jan Wong was in China when the one child policy was introduced. She had just graduated from Peking University. She went on to become a foreign correspondent from Beijing, and has written about her experiences in her book "Red China Blues." Jan Wong joined our Friday host Matt Galloway from Fredericton, where she teaches journalism at St. Thomas University.
Jeremy Paltiel is a political scientist with a specialization in China at Carleton University. He was in our Toronto studio.
Listen to our interview from March 2011 with Xinran sharing the stories of women who gave up their children to confirm to the one-child policy: (Warning: Some of what you'll hear might disturb you.)
This segment was produced by The Current's Ines Colabrese and Sujata Berry.