It is ironic that China, which had the highest number of people in the world till a month ago, is facing a shortage of human resources following a rapid decline in the population of young people. Xi Jinping is troubled by the fact that a drop in youngsters can end up hurting China’s economic, political and military interests.
On that account, China is now normalising an idea which is generally regarded as a stigma in other societies. It is allowing unmarried couples to have children. In China’s province of Sichuan, the government will allow unmarried people to raise a family and take advantage of benefits that are meant for married couples.
According to the norms, only married women are legally allowed to have children, however, as the rates of marriage and birth have declined significantly, the state changed a rule of 2019 to cover singles who want to have children.
Read more: And India beats the hell out of China yet again at the Indo-China border
Starting from February 15th, both married and unmarried couples who want to have kids can register with the government in China and there is no limit on the number of children they can register for.
Till now, only married couples who wanted to have two children could register with the state.
China has been grappling with the issue of a rapidly declining young population. The nation abolished its one-child policy on 1st January 2016 following the implementation of a law which allowed married couples to have a second child.
However, the damage has already been done as death rates declined and longevity rates increased. In fact, it is said that a third of China’s population will be over the age of 60 by 2050. Therefore, China is facing a shortage of workforce.
For the first time in six decades, China’s population decreased, and this had adverse consequences on its economy. According to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics, in 2022 the population dropped to 1.411 billion, declining by 850, 000 people from 2021.
What is China hoping to gain?
Now, in the geopolitical arena, China is an extremely aggressive and untrustworthy player. Beijing is pursuing an expansionist policy, oftentimes it disregards the territorial integrity and sovereignty of other countries.
Take the example of Taiwan. The island nation is persistently threatened and attacked by the Chinese military which is preparing to launch a full-fledged invasion.
It followed the same clandestine strategy with its neighbour, India. In the Eastern Ladakh region, Chinese soldiers are trying to capture the territory leading to several clashes between them and Indian soldiers. Similarly, China is constantly increasing its control in the South and East China Seas, with Beijing stating that both seas belong to it.
At the same time, China has also increased its military and diplomatic onslaught on Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines etc.
Now, the Chinese government realises that in order to increase its military and diplomatic significance, a strong military is needed. Beijing requires young capable people in the military who can attain its unforeseeable goals. However, the young population is persistently declining in China.
Therefore, the Chinese government knows that its expansionist policy can only be successful if the nation’s military is strong and effective. And the military will be strong and effective if it has more young people. So, in order to counter the adverse demographic changes and increase the population of its young people, the government of China has allowed unmarried couples to have children.
Read more: Why does Zelensky want to meet China’s Jinping?
Beijing knows that in any war there are casualties. Hence, if a Chinese soldier dies, then the probability that his position will be occupied by another soldier is highly unlikely. Beijing wants to change this, thus it has made these radical changes in its policy.
It is ironic that the notion of unmarried couples having children is normalised in a conservative and close-minded nation like China. As this concept will be perceived as a stigma even in the West. China allowing unmarried couples to have children exemplifies the extent to which Beijing can go to attain its atrocious ploy of expansionism.
Leave a Reply