China's population

Relax the one-child policy

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 September, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 02 November, 2015, 4:12pm

The one-child policy has been used to control the population on the mainland for many years. It was intended to reduce the burden on society after the People's Republic of China was established.

In recent years, many couples have also decided not to have children for purely economical reasons, meaning there are even fewer young people on the mainland.

Meanwhile, with improved medical technology and social services, people are living longer. This means there has been an increase in the number of elderly people, but fewer children to look after them. This is placing a huge burden on society.

To tackle the problem, the one-child policy needs to be relaxed. The government must realise that more children would make life easier for the elderly.

The government also needs to help make life easier for families with a second child, rather than fining them as it does now.

Michelle To, St Stephen's Girls' College
From the Editor

Thanks for your letter, Michelle. It would seem that more children would be the most obvious solution to the woes facing countries with ageing populations. But we need to realise that the world is rather like a cupcake. It cannot be divided by an infinite number of people. There simply are not enough resources to support that.

Instead we need to look for a different economic model that does not rely on young people's money to pay for older people's care. As our life expectancy and quality improves, we need to think of extending the working life of adults accordingly.

By barring people over the age of 65 from working, we are doing two things - losing experience and changing those people who were producers into consumers. Raising the age of retirement would go a long way to solving the problem.

Susan, Editor