Chinese think tank urges end to one-child policy

BIV

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Chinese think tank urges end to one-child policy
By ALEXA OLESEN | Associated Press – 3 hrs ago

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese government think tank is urging the country's leaders to start phasing out its one-child policy immediately and allow two children for every family by 2015, a daring proposal to do away with the unpopular policy.
Some demographers see the timeline put forward by the China Development Research Foundation as a bold move by the body close to the central leadership. Others warn that the gradual approach, if implemented, would still be insufficient to help correct the problems that China's strict birth limits have created.
Xie Meng, a press affairs official with the foundation, said the final version of the report wil be released "in a week or two." But Chinese state media have been given advance copies. The official Xinhua News Agency said the foundation recommends a two-child policy in some provinces from this year and a nationwide two-child policy by 2015. It proposes all birth limits be dropped by 2020, Xinhua reported.
"China has paid a huge political and social cost for the policy, as it has resulted in social conflict, high administrative costs and led indirectly to a long-term gender imbalance at birth," Xinhua said, citing the report.
But it remains unclear whether Chinese leaders are ready to take up the recommendations. China's National Population and Family Planning Commission had no immediate comment on the report Wednesday.
Known to many as the one-child policy, China's actual rules are more complicated. The government limits most urban couples to one child, and allows two children for rural families if their first-born is a girl. There are numerous other exceptions as well, including looser rules for minority families and a two-child limit for parents who are themselves both singletons.
Cai Yong, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, said the report holds extra weight because the think tank is under the State Council, China's Cabinet. He said he found it remarkable that state-backed demographers were willing to publicly propose such a detailed schedule and plan on how to get rid of China's birth limits.
"That tells us at least that policy change is inevitable, it's coming," said Cai, who was not involved in the drafting of the report but knows many of the experts who were. Cai is currently a visiting scholar at Fudan University in Shanghai. "It's coming, but we cannot predict when exactly it will come."
Adding to the uncertainty is a once-in-a-decade leadership transition that kicks off Nov. 8 that will see a new slate of top leaders installed by next spring. Cai said the transition could keep population reform on the back burner or changes might be rushed through to help burnish the reputations of President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao on their way out.
There has been growing speculation among Chinese media, experts and ordinary people about whether the government will soon relax the one-child policy — introduced in 1980 as a temporary measure to curb surging population growth — and allow more people to have two children.
Though the government credits the policy with preventing hundreds of millions of births and helping lift countless families out of poverty, it is reviled by many ordinary people. The strict limits have led to forced abortions and sterilizations, even though such measures are illegal. Couples who flout the rules face hefty fines, seizure of their property and loss of their jobs.
Many demographers argue that the policy has worsened the country's aging crisis by limiting the size of the young labor pool that must support the large baby boom generation as it retires. They say it has contributed to the imbalanced sex ratio by encouraging families to abort baby girls, preferring to try for a male heir.
The government recognizes those problems and has tried to address them by boosting social services for the elderly. It has also banned sex-selective abortion and rewarded rural families whose only child is a girl.
Many today also see the birth limits as outdated, a relic of the era when housing, jobs and food were provided by the state.
"It has been thirty years since our planned economy was liberalized," commented Wang Yi, the owner of a shop that sells textiles online, under a news report on the foundation's proposal. "So why do we still have to plan our population?"
Though open debate about the policy has flourished in state media and on the Internet, leaders have so far expressed a desire to maintain the status quo. President Hu said last year that China would keep its strict family planning policy to keep the birth rate low and other officials have said that no changes are expected until at least 2015.
Wang Feng, director of the Brookings-Tsinghua Center for Public Policy and an expert on China's demographics, contributed research material to the foundation's report but has yet to see the full text. He said he welcomed the gist of the document that he's seen in state media.
It says the government "should return the rights of reproduction to the people," he said. "That's very bold."
Gu Baochang, a professor of demography at Beijing's Renmin University and a vocal advocate of reform, said the proposed timeline wasn't aggressive enough.
"They should have reformed this policy ages ago," he said. "It just keeps getting held up, delayed."
 

KRSOne

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Though the government credits the policy with preventing hundreds of millions of births and helping lift countless families out of poverty, it is reviled by many ordinary people. The strict limits have led to forced abortions and sterilizations, even though such measures are illegal. Couples who flout the rules face hefty fines, seizure of their property and loss of their jobs.
That is so nice, they are only injecting babies with poison to kill them if the parents have more than 1 kid, to help families. That is so loving and liberal.

It reminds me of Ant saying the Chinese enjoy being slaves for Apple and the nets are just there so they can't throw stuff out of the windows.
 

Creasy Bear

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That is so nice, they are only injecting babies with poison to kill them if the parents have more than 1 kid, to help families. That is so loving and liberal.
Who the fuck ever claimed that the Chinese government is nice and/or loving and/or liberal?
 

KRSOne

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Who the fuck ever claimed that the Chinese government is nice and/or loving and/or liberal?
As the quote points out the Chinese government claims that. Just like its loving and liberal for Obama to kill innocent people with drone strikes and take out foreign governments with terrorist... I mean rebel groups., at least that's what democrats claim.
 

Creasy Bear

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As the quote points out the Chinese government claims that. Just like its loving and liberal for Obama to kill innocent people with drone strikes and take out foreign governments with terrorist... I mean rebel groups., at least that's what democrats claim.
Yes... it's called world politics. It's not nice or pretty. It's how adults operate. A shocking revelation you've recently made?

Welcome to the cruel world, junior.
 

Creasy Bear

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They are communists. Not really getting any more leftist than that.
Who the fuck ever claimed that the Chinese government is liberal?

This may come as a shock to you, Don... but "liberal" isn't a synonym for "leftist" for those of us who aren't obsessed with partisan politics.
 

Mags

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"Chinese think tank" A.K.A. "Chink Tank".
 

BIV

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... but "liberal" isn't a synonym for "leftist" for those of us who aren't obsessed with partisan politics.
They are different extremes of the same thing. Liberal: one with left leaning political views. Leftist: One with extreme liberal views.

EDIT: You know, I was going to give you an example of a liberal who isn't a leftist, but I can't come up with one off the top of my head.
 

Creasy Bear

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They are different extremes of the same thing. Liberal: one with left leaning political views. Leftist: One with extreme liberal views.

EDIT: You know, I was going to give you an example of a liberal who isn't a leftist, but I can't come up with one off the top of my head.
How about Vlad Putin? He's(technically speaking) a leftist commie rooskie, but the only thing liberal about him is how he liberally applies the beatings to his political opponents.
 

BIV

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How about Vlad Putin? He's(technically speaking) a leftist commie rooskie, but the only thing liberal about him is how he liberally applies the beatings to his political opponents.
Every good liberal government gets itself a nice dictator once it gets powerful enough. That way the social elite get to live like kings while the rest of the nation live in impoverished, socialist, bleak, liberal harmony.
 

Don the Radio Guy

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How about Vlad Putin? He's(technically speaking) a leftist commie rooskie, but the only thing liberal about him is how he liberally applies the beatings to his political opponents.
Throwing people in jail for opposition speech is pretty liberal. It's Obama's wet dream.
 

KRSOne

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Who the fuck ever claimed that the Chinese government is liberal?
I don't see much difference between the Chinese and democrats who claim to be liberals. If Democrats could have their way, we would be a lot more like China or North Korea. Current day liberals aren't liberals if you go by the original definition of the word (Thomas Jefferson was a real liberal) but its 1984 and the meaning of words has changed.
 

VMS

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China isn't communist. It's technically fascist, in the PoliSci meaning of the term.

Strong unelected central government with many sectors of the economy directly controlled by the government, many sectors in a controlled "free market", with a very authoritarian social policy.

Which is what happens to a communist regime when they start adding capitalist reforms without losing power.

Trying to judge foreign governments on an American left/right scale is usually futile.

Americans, by international standards, have some really weird ideas. I happen to like most of them, but some don't.
 

Norm Stansfield

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How about Vlad Putin? He's(technically speaking) a leftist commie rooskie, but the only thing liberal about him is how he liberally applies the beatings to his political opponents.
The words "liberal" and "communist" both have two entirely separate meanings:

American liberals are the equivalent of European socialists, not European liberals. European liberals are in favor of free markets and civil rights, but opposed to socially progressive ideas such as gay marriage, drug legalization, prostitution. Almost the opposite of American liberals. The two concepts have nothing in common.

The two main concepts designated by the word "communist" are: 1. the party Lenin envisioned would lead Russia to Marx's socialist ideal and 2. the totalitarian clique that runs various dictatorships around the world. Nr. 2 has nothing to do with nr. 1. Nr. 2 communists like the Chinese Communist Party and Putin are actually leading their countries away from socialist ideals, towards a mixed fascist/capitalist economy a lot like the ones in the West.
 
#18
The words "liberal" and "communist" both have two entirely separate meanings:

American liberals are the equivalent of European socialists, not European liberals. European liberals are in favor of free markets and civil rights, but opposed to socially progressive ideas such as gay marriage, drug legalization, prostitution. Almost the opposite of American liberals. The two concepts have nothing in common.

The two main concepts designated by the word "communist" are: 1. the party Lenin envisioned would lead Russia to Marx's socialist ideal and 2. the totalitarian clique that runs various dictatorships around the world. Nr. 2 has nothing to do with nr. 1. Nr. 2 communists like the Chinese Communist Party and Putin are actually leading their countries away from socialist ideals, towards a mixed fascist/capitalist economy a lot like the ones in the West.
I disagree. Its pretty much country-to-country semantics. I don't think American "liberals" are necessarily like Euro social/labor parties. The Democrats and the Liberal Party of Canada are uniquely centrist left-laning parties who are not true labor parties in the euro-leftist mold (they share much personnel and strategies too). Many current euro "liberal" parties are increasingly like American/Canadian liberals...look at Yabloko in Russia, the Lib-Dems in the UK, Venstre in Denmark, VLD in Belgium, etc.
 

Norm Stansfield

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Having been to China...its officially communist. But holy fuck are they capitalist.

Why do you think a major corporation paid for us to go there?
I don't know. Maybe they were trying to troll a Chinese website to death. But seriously folks, that has nothing to do with whether the place is capitalist or not.

Socialism is the social system in property is commonly owned (and, since the only way to "commonly own" something is by government force, it's the system where property is government owned). American education is socialist. European healthcare is socialist. Soviet pretty much everything was socialist.

Fascism is the political system where property is officially privately owned (and private owners are allowed to profit), but it is used in a manner that is controlled by the state and for the state's purposes, whatever they may be. Some American sectors are fascist (the financial industry, healthcare, maybe even some parts of the car industry), and large parts of China's economy are fascist. Mussolini's Italy and Hitler's Germany were fascist. Keep in mind, however, fascism has nothing to do with concentration camps and conquering Europe. It tends to lead to those kinds of things, sure, because once you give someone that much power, they'll eventually use it to kill people, but you don't have to have mass murder to call something fascist.

Capitalism is the political system in which property is privately owned and the government has no power to control it in any way whatsoever. China isn't capitalist. The West isn't capitalist. We're about a third capitalist, a third fascist and another third socialist, with small variations on the exact proportions. China is half fascist, 15-20 percent socialist, and the rest capitalist. The late 19th century US was about 90% capitalist, 10% fascist.

Hope that cleared it up for you. Also, I wouldn't say fascism is better than socialism, but it's definitely a little more practical. But, morally, they're the same thing, and will lead to the same evils because they both concentrate power in the hands of the most ruthless, savage people around.
 
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