In a surprisingly major policy turn amid rising concerns over an increasing aging population, China’s “three-child policy” has officially been introduced after years of speculation.
Unsurprisingly, the Chinese internet is not impressed.
Just a day ahead of International Children’s Day, China’s biggest and most influential state media organization Xinhua reported that a “three-child policy” has been approved at a latest meeting hosted by China’s top decision-making body, the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.
Just a few hours after the announcement, the hashtag #three-child policy is here# had attracted over 1.76 billion views on Chinese microblogging platform Weibo, climbing to become the top trending topic on the site.
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Frustrated netizens have flooded the site, posting sarcastic comments to express their negative sentiment towards this new change in the family-planning policy.
“I suggest (the authorities) set up a basic pregnancy welfare program, as well as tackle the discrimination that women face in the workplace, then encourage them to give birth to babies,” writes the top upvoted comment under a related post, which has garnered more than 202,000 likes.
“It is not really a question of giving birth or not, but a comprehensive issue of education, housing and employment. Giving birth is only a small part,” writes the second most-upvoted comment.
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“I recommend males get paternity leave, as fathers should take their part of the responsibility,” writes another.
There are also memes… lots of memes.
“Give me my 8 million RMB back.” Director Zhang Yimou was fined in 2014 for having three kids.
“Not something to consider for someone whose monthly salary is 3,000 RMB.” The cost of raising children in China has grown immensely.
“I will just leave, you guys play.” One netizen photoshopped this caption above a Durex logo.
The new Three-Child Policy comes just two weeks after the release of China’s Seventh National Population Census, which confirmed that China’s population had increased to 1.412 billion people and that the “second-child” birth rate had also apparently increased.
China put an end to its controversial “one-child policy” in 2016 and allowed couples to have two babies. However, China’s total fertility rate has reportedly fallen below the warning line according to the statistics published by the National Bureau of Statistics of China in January 2020.
Whether this “three-child policy” will be effective in nudging people to have more babies remains to be seen, however, judging by the reactions from young netizens, it is not looking good.
Cover image via Unsplash
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