torsdag 14. mars 2019

A Flurry of Ideas to Reverse China’s Declining Birthrate, but Will Beijing Listen?

One proposal would end financial penalties for babies born out of wedlock. Another would lower the legal age of marriage. Others would ban discrimination against mothers and mothers-to-be in the workplace and would expand or extend parental leave to fathers China’s annual legislative session — the National People’s Congress — is typically a staid affair to aggrandize Communist Party rule, but this year it has produced a flurry of proposals to address what experts and officials now acknowledge is a looming demographic crisis caused by the country’s sharply declining birthrate.

The ideas now being floated by regional officials, businesspeople and others reflect the depth of the concern over the issue but also the fact that there is not yet a clear consensus on what the government should do about it. One deputy, Huang Xihua, went so far as to propose amending the Constitution to remove all limits on family planning, which until 2016 notoriously forbade most Chinese families from having more than one child.