According to a report issued by a government agency and made public through Xinhua, the official news outlet for the Chinese government, it is time to start putting the one child policy to rest in China. A government “think tank” will issue the official report within a couple of weeks (most likely after the National People’s Congress on November 8th), but an early version released to Xinhua calls for reforms to begin immediately, allowing two children for every family in select rural provinces, allowing every family in China to have two children by 2015, and completely ending family restrictions by 2020. Family planning in China has resulted in severe problems both within and outside of the country. The gender imbalance that has resulted from sex-selective abortions will be felt for generations to come. China’s one child policy is probably the topic that people are most interested in seeing changes to after the new president is confirmed. The Nobel Prize win of Mo Yan’s Frog is also thrusting the topic forward. The Chinese government cannot restrict discussions of Yan’s work and it’s themes without chastising the most prestigious award the country has ever won.
While any news released through Xinhua has to be taken with a heaping tablespoon of salt, this is a topic that isn’t going away and has negatively impacted every family in China. Hopefully this report is positive news on that front, but only time will tell.