BEIJING, March 5, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A population expert has warned that every day China’s brutal one-child policy remains in place will add to the demographic and economic disaster looming over the nation.
“Thirty years ago, the Chinese Communist Party wrongly embraced Malthusianism,” said Steven Mosher, an internationally recognized authority on China and population issues, and president of the Population Research Institute.
“The Chinese people have paid in blood for this mistake. There have been hundreds of millions of forced abortions and sterilizations. Tens of millions of girls have been aborted or killed at birth. Now it is becoming clear that eliminating 400 million people from China’s population is going to exact a heavy economic price as well: nationwide labor shortages, slower growth, and an aging population.”
Mosher, who first reported the brutal one-child policy based upon his on-the-ground research in China in 1980, says, “the time to end the one-child policy is now. Every day that it remains in place makes a bad problem even worse.”
As delegates meet this week at China’s National People’s Congress to consider the succession of leadership in the country, Chinese economists themselves are warning delegates that economic chaos due to demographic change will result if the one-child policy is not reversed.
Bloomberg News reports that Helen Qiao, chief Greater China economist with Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong advised,
“This is one of the last chances to change the policy before things get much worse. If they start to lift the one-child restriction on urban dwellers now, the economy can get a boost from people still willing to have more than one kid.”
Qiao remarked that China’s current export-based economy will be curtailed by continuing economic crises in the country’s trading partners and that an improvement in domestic consumption is the only way to maintain economic growth.
However, it will require dramatic and swift action to reverse China’s over-all fertility rate of less than 1.6 children per woman, with predictions of a rate approaching one child per woman within twenty years.
Bloomberg quoted Qiao saying that the need to abandon the one child policy is “urgent.”
“Increases to the labor force will take 16 years but people will have babies now and the boost for consumption will come right away,” Qiao said.
However, Wang Feng, a director of the Beijing-based Brookings-Tsinghua Center for Public Policy, a joint economic and social issues research venture between China’s Tsinghua University and the Washington-based Brookings Institution, warned that change is unlikely to happen quickly enough to prevent the country’s economy from faltering due to the one-child policy.
”Declining returns to capital investment, a decreasing rate of labor productivity increase and the rising cost of social investment will eventually lead to a halving in the growth rate in China,” said Wang according to the Bloomberg report.
“China’s demographic changes will also have far-reaching implications for the world economy, which has relied on China as a global factory for the past two decades and more,” Wang said, adding China is “shooting itself in the foot” and should offer incentives to families to have more children.
“The old men who run China don’t want to admit that the policy has been both a moral and an economic failure,” Steven Mosher told LifeSiteNews, “so they will try and walk it back piecemeal.”
“Imagine what it would do to the legitimacy of the Party if it were to suddenly declare that the one-child policy—which has cost every family in China dearly—had been just a terrible mistake,” Mosher concluded.