Friday, July 17, 2009

Chinese in Rural Areas Can Have Two Children!

China is doing its best to lose its race against India in the population race. This is one race that India should lose, not win. Justifiably so.

Many of you, esteemed readers of this blog know that China advocates a one-child per couple policy. Methinks it's high time we did, too. But a new rule makes it okay for couples from the rural areas to have two children. I am rather amused to read this one Josh Xiong's article in the venerable Britannica Blog:

"I was at a lunch and was told about all the exceptions to China’s one-child policy. Given the absence of a strong social welfare system since the reforms, most Chinese consider themselves lucky if they can have another child to act as a provider in their old age."

According to rules:

"- If you are from the country [country meaning rural China], you may have two kids. This applies if your wife or mother is from the country [meaning rural China] as well.

"- If you belong to an ethnic minority, you may have two kids.

"The former didn’t make sense at first, considering the urban-rural income disparities and the greater earning potential in the cities. If you’re going to encourage more children, why not do it in the cities, where they’ll have a better chance of becoming part of the middle class? But then the policy makes sense if the government is more worried about concentrated pockets of unrest, which is more of an urban phenomenon. Larger urban populations = greater chance of urban instability."

Apparently Chinese couples want two children, so what do they do? Migrate to rural China perhaps? Well, um, decongest the city. Good idea. Something Indian mandarins should look into, perchance.

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