© Associated Press photo
A woman holds her newborn twins in a hospital in Changsha in south China’s Hunan province.
Prince Edward Island transfer student from China brings unique perspective to debate
Letter of the Day
Editor: I’m a transfer student from China. When I came here, I found a lot of differences between Canadian teenagers and myself.
The most interesting part is that all my Canadian friends have siblings while I do not. I sometimes admire them because they can share their happiness and sorrows with their brothers and sisters. They have great memories of growing up together, but all I have is playing with different friends who end up disappearing in my life, and left me feeling lonely.
It is a well-known fact that China has the One-Child Policy. If government officials break this law, they will be fired, while others will get a fine according to their incomes, which is called social maintenance fee.
Recently, there is big news in China about a famous director, Zhang Yimou, who directed the 2008 Olympic opening ceremony. He was fined 7.48 million yuan because the media exposed that he has two extra children. This news blew up a discussion among civilians; and people care the most about how the fine was calculated and whether it was paid.
As the number of Chinese seniors increases, Chinese government has to come up with an idea to solve it. In 2009, it was revealed that the total number of Chinese old people increased to 167 million. A common view of economists is that if the rate of birth is still lower than the rate of death, Chinese economy is certain to decline.
An alternative to the One-Child Policy, called the Two-Child Policy, which was drafted four years ago, is currently being developed. It would permit couples from single-child families to have up to two children. It has been implemented in some provinces as a trial and may replace the One-Child Policy in 2015.
Chinese government is hesitant to implement the Two-Child Policy across the whole country, because it is hard to predict the effects. As the country with the largest population in the world, China faces a tough problem of balancing the population along with its resources. During the past 30 years under the One-Child Policy, China has successfully decreased the rate of birth.
Opponents of the Two-Child Policy hold the view that if China abandons the One-Child Policy, there will be a sharp increase of newborn babies and will push China into a dangerous situation.
Supporters point out that as the phenomenon of ageing population becomes more serious, more problems will be revealed and may lead to economic depression, like in Japan.
I, as a generation born under the One-Child Policy, support the new policy, because I would not want my children to face the same problems as I have. When I was a kid, I was, more or less, spoiled by my parents because I was the only child they had. This has indirectly made me more selfish, and it is a common problem for our generation. Besides that, I alone, will have to take responsibility of providing support for my parents and grandparents. I will have neither financial nor physical help from brothers and sisters when my parents are in the hospital.
I’m not worried about the sharp increase of population. Raising a child in China is expensive, and too high of a financial burden for a normal family. A couple should consider their situation rationally before they decide to have a second baby.
Every policy has both positive and negative effects, we can only forecast the risks and minimize them. I hold a positive view for this policy and look forward to seeing changes.