DESPITE abolishing its one-child policy in 2015, China is struggling to raise its dangerously low birth rate. Official statistics show that 580,000 fewer babies were born in 2019 than in 2018.
According to the Telegraph, China faces a shrinking labour force and an ageing population while the economy is suffering. Many experts greeted the end of the one-child family policy as ‘too little, too late’, and now the sluggish recovery in births is being blamed on a rise in divorces, and the many women who choose to stay single.
Bizarrely, the experts ignore the fact that owing to the one-child policy and the cultural preference for sons, millions of females have been aborted. Indeed, in 2014 it was noted that in China and India, men outnumbered women by 70million.
Perhaps the Chinese governing elites thought that having a massive surplus of unattached males, while lowering overall population, would boost the workforce and aid national security. Instead, the economy has slumped – apart from a brisk trade in trafficked sex-slaves – and the economically thriving but restive Hong Kong is proving a challenge to their authoritarian instincts as they attempt to pose as a stable and unthreatening member of the international community.
For years, Western Left-liberal progressives have seen China as a beacon of enlightenment while ignoring its persecution of religious minorities including Christians and Muslims, its enthusiasm for the death penalty and its construction of coal-fired power stations and other contributions to their favourite bugbear, the ‘climate emergency’.
It is hard to escape the conclusion that such crimes against ecology have been excused because of China’s tight rein on population, even when it involves that other Western progressive obsession, female equality. Forced abortions have been overlooked in case it casts ‘the right to choose’ in a less than positive light, but perhaps in these new figures they will at last see the Chinese experiment for what it is –another campaign in its war against people.