Planned Parenthood disappeared for six years
The word “family planning” has disappeared from the State Council government work report for six years, and the “post-family planning era” of China’s population problem has attracted great attention.
At the National People’s Congress and CPPCC in 2021, there were dozens of suggestions on the birth policy. In addition to suggesting further easing of birth restrictions, the deputies also tried to find a solution to the dilemma of “not wanting to have children, not dare to have children”.
Demography experts told Jiemian.com that as population problems such as low fertility and aging become more serious, it is an inevitable trend to gradually implement the policy to encourage children.
The meaning of “family planning” has changed
Huang Xihua, a deputy to the National People’s Congress, began to pay attention to family planning issues in 2010. She gradually formed a habit of paying attention to the statement on family planning policy first when she received the government work report each year. Huang Xihua noted that since 2013, the relevant statements in the government work report have been more people-oriented and more relaxed.
Since 1982, when China defined family planning as a basic state policy and wrote it into the Constitution in the same year, the expression “unswervingly adhere to the basic state policy of family planning” has appeared every year in the government work report of the State Council.
In 2013, China announced that it would implement a “two-child policy”, in which couples are allowed to have a second child if one of the parents is an only child, in what was seen as a sign of a loosening of the one-child policy. The government work report of the State Council in 2014 stated that “we will unswervingly adhere to the basic state policy of family planning and implement the policy of allowing couples to have two children if either parent is an only child.” This is in line with the policy of “if an individual is an only child, two children”.
In 2015, as the effect of the policy of “two children if one person is an only child” was not as good as expected, the government work report of that year focused on “promoting the reform of family planning service management” and did not emphasize its status as a “basic national policy”.
The government work report also noted that “China has a population of 1.3 billion, 900 million labor resources, the people’s diligence and wisdom, there is a boundless creativity, thousands of market cells alive, will converge to the development of the huge kinetic energy, must be able to resist the economic downward pressure, China’s economy has always been full of vitality.” Demography expert Huang Wenzheng told Jiemian News that this is the first time that a government report during the two sessions has affirmed the importance of population and labor resources. In the past, more emphasis was placed on people as a burden of economic development.
In 2016, China implemented the universal two-child policy. The government work report of that year described the family planning policy as “improving supporting policies that allow a couple to have two children” and did not mention the word “family planning” again. This is the first time that the word “family planning” has been omitted from the State Council’s government work report.
It is found that since the implementation of the universal two-child policy, the 2017 and 2020 government work reports of the State Council did not mention fertility related policies, while the government work report of 2021 for the first time put forward the issue of specific fertility level and put forward the idea of “promoting the realization of a moderate fertility level”.
An expert from the China Population and Development Research Center, an institution directly under the National Health Commission, pointed out to Jiemian News that family planning is not limited to the number of children that the country encourages, and family planning that is suitable for the actual situation is also a kind of family planning. He said the preservation of family planning in the constitution would not be an obstacle to further easing the policy. “The meaning of family planning is also changing,” he said.
Recently, the CPPCC national committee, former deputy director of the national health development planning commission Wang Peian also said in an interview with the southern metropolis daily, the connotation of China’s family planning is advancing with The Times, constantly enrich, can not only understand the family planning for the limit of birth number, after two child policy implementation, family planning more prominent humanist, family planning, and promote people’s all-round development, improve the quality of people’s physical and mental health.
Suggestions about fertility policies have proliferated
The year 2021 marks the fifth year of the implementation of the universal two-child policy. It is widely believed in the population circle that the effect of the policy is not as good as expected, and the birth control policy has once again become a hot topic at the two sessions. According to statistics from JiemianNews, there are dozens of suggestions on the family planning policy, and the topic has been frequently searched on the Internet.
Population and future web editor, demographers He Yafu noticed that in two sessions about birth policy advice, calling for further comprehensive relaxation policy suggestion number and the last two sessions, but called for fertility policy, building a family friendly society related Suggestions, which means that the policy of birth behavior constraints of smaller and smaller, but the economic pressure and conceptual change affect fertility behavior proportion is increasing, and gradually to the attention of the society.
A number of demography experts interviewed by Jiemian News said that China’s low birth rate trap, declining birth rate and aging population have become a consensus in the academic community, and the vast majority of demographers in the industry support the full easing of birth restrictions as soon as possible.
Statistics show that the number of births in China has declined for three consecutive years from 2017 to 2019. He Yafu believes that there are three main reasons. First, the release of the universal two-child accumulation effect is weakened; Second, the number of women of childbearing age in China has decreased by an average of about 5 million per year during the 13th Five-Year Plan period. In addition, the young generation’s willingness to have children is generally low due to the high cost of raising children.
This year, Huang Xihua again submitted a proposal to liberalize all births nationwide. During the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), the number of women of childbearing age in China will continue to decline by an average of 4-5 million a year, she wrote in the proposal. If the fertility rate cannot be significantly increased, the probability of births in China during the 14th Five-Year Plan period will decline year by year, which is not in line with the central government’s goal of “promoting long-term balanced population development”.
, she thinks, the 19th the fifth plenary session proposed “enhance fertility policy inclusive”, means that under the new situation, in the face of declining birth population birth policy needs to include a variety of fertility form family (including three children, four boys and family), the policy of birth through an inclusive and reduce fertility, parenting, education cost, so as to build a family friendly society.
Jin Li, deputy director of Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management and a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), has prepared four proposals this year that are all related to the family planning policy. In an interview with the media, Jin Li said that only the easing of the family planning policy would have a limited effect on the birth rate, and that other measures were needed to boost the birth rate.
Before that, Zhai Zhenwu, president of China Population Association and professor of demography at Renmin University of China, also said in an interview with Jiemian News that the current population situation and people’s concept of fertility have changed a lot, and it is no longer possible to solve all the problems of population aging by adjusting population policies.
We will establish a policy system to encourage children to grow up
How exactly should we encourage fertility? Most of the proposals put forward on behalf of members of the two sessions revolve around taxation, childcare, holidays and other aspects.
He Dan, director of the China Population and Development Research Center and a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), delivered a speech titled “Building a Family Support Policy System and Advocating a Family-Friendly Society and Culture.” He suggested that more preferential tax and other policies be given to families raising children.
Hodan pointed out that from the experience of developed countries, measures to deal with low fertility include three categories: economic subsidies, paid maternity leave and public childcare services. Economic subsidies have an impact on the short-term birth arrangement of low-income families, but have limited impact on middle – and high-income families. Paid childbearing and childcare services play an obvious role in raising the fertility level.
As for the protection of women’s reproductive rights and interests, many deputies also put forward their own suggestions, especially the voice of improving male paternity leave is rising. NPC deputies Zhou Hongyu, Li Jin, Tuo Qingming and Lin Yong, as well as CPPCC National Committee member Lei, all made specific suggestions.
Qingming Tuo suggested that the paternity leave for male spouses should not be less than 20 days, 24 days for couples who are not in the same place, and 30 days for those who have a second child. For the third time, Lin Yong, a deputy to the National People’s Congress, suggested that male maternity leave should be longer than 42 days. Song Zhiping, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, even suggested that maternity leave be extended to three to six years so that children can get better care and education before they enter kindergarten or primary school.
JiemianNews noted that on March 8, Hu Zucai, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, said at a press conference held by the State Information Office that China will enter the moderately aging stage during the 14th Five-Year Plan period, and actively coping with the aging of the population has become a national strategy.
A statistics system insider told Jiemian News that the data of the seventh census has been formed and will be released soon. According to the data, the population distribution of different ages in China is not ideal, and the change of the population situation will definitely accelerate the introduction of fertility support policies.
In fact, a lot of work is being done to encourage childbearing. In 2020 after the national annual national WeiJianWei is introduced in the reply of fine yellow flowers, in April 2019, The General Office of the State Council issued “on promoting the development of infants and young children under the age of 3 care service guidelines”, to lead the agency to implement responsibility, promote the establishment of nursery service standard system, nursery service got off to a good start. The system was officially put into use on January 8, 2020. By the end of July of that year, 5,825 childcare institutions in 30 provinces had registered, with more than 300,000 children receiving childcare.
The National Health Commission said it will continue to coordinate with relevant departments to improve supporting policies and measures, support local governments in building a system to support family births in light of their actual conditions, and actively deal with the risks and challenges posed by low fertility rates.