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Third child?No, thank you, say young Chinese as living expenses soar and thinking changes

China wants women to have more children, but the great support promised by the government makes little sense to many young people as living costs soar and their attitudes toward families change.

On Monday, the world’s most populous country further eased strict control of family planning, allowing couples to have three children after the birth of only 12 million Chinese last year.

But experts warn that high costs, limited space, and decades of social norms formed by family limits will hinder China’s efforts to increase its population of 1.41 billion. ..

“Many women around me are very opposed to the idea of ​​having children,” 22-year-old master’s student Yan Jiaqi told AFP in Beijing.

“So don’t even talk about having three,” she said.

In 2016, China eased one of the world’s strictest family planning regulations, the “one-child policy,” amid growing concerns about an aging workforce and economic stagnation, allowing couples to have two children. recognized.

The easing is part of an increasingly desperate effort to stir up a booming demographic before China’s remarkable growth is stalled by medical and pension costs for hundreds of millions of older people.

For the country’s communist leadership to succeed, it needs to convince people like Yang Shen-yi, the father of two 29-year-olds, to have another child.

When visiting a toy store in Beijing with his family, Yang said his two young sons were already more than enough for a fiercely competitive victory in the Chinese capital.

“I don’t think we have a reason to have a third child because we don’t have much money and we don’t have enough space in our house,” he told AFP.

“When my second child was born, I suddenly had only half of everything. At first I was able to give each child 100 percent, but now I can only give 50 percent.”

Past compensation

The idea of ​​having no children or getting married is off the table for others, as city life comes at the expense of long working hours, expensive housing, and strict ladders to decent education. ..

Today’s young people “may feel that their own quality of life is more important, without thinking about inheriting their surname,” said Yang Jiachi.

This increasingly pervasive attitude surprised Chinese leaders and prompted a policy shift on Monday.

However, Chinese social media has not made a vague pledge that couples (especially women) can make friends as soon as they have more children while maintaining a work-life balance.

Instead, this new policy, thanks to the “one-child policy,” causes de de de laughter among young Chinese who are already suffering from fierce workplace competition and supports older parents without siblings. Pressured to share costs.

Social media users downplayed the idea of ​​having children and promoted a meme celebrating the relative financial freedom of having no children, including images of discounted three-story bunk beds.

Some have made vulgar jokes about boosting population growth.

“Too late and too few”

According to experts, changes in socio-economic conditions are more than just relaxing the rules, as families are demanding more voice in their careers and family life, including strong investment in education for children and women. It means that you need to do things.

“It’s a social norm in China to have only one or no children,” Lee Fuk-sian, a scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told AFP.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China’s birth rate is 1.3, below the level needed to maintain a stable population.

Other East Asian countries are also struggling to raise fertility rates, with families shrinking in South Korea, Japan and Singapore despite government incentives.

Mr. Yi said that the relaxed childbirth policy is “too late and inadequate”, and China’s greatest hope is “for example, free childcare, free education, and housing assistance for young couples.” He said it was to model a policy that imitated.

A woman who traveled to the Bund in Shanghai with her only child told AFP that “young people are under great pressure.”

“They don’t have time to take care of their children at home for work. If they take care of their children full-time, that means they don’t have a job.”

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Third child?No, thank you, say young Chinese as living expenses soar and thinking changes

Source link Third child?No, thank you, say young Chinese as living expenses soar and thinking changes

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