Expert shares opinions towards ageing population and two-child policy
China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) held a press conference at the media center for the Fifth Session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing on Saturday, highlighting issues that include the country's aging population and two-child policy.
Li Bin, minister of National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), attends an news conference at the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC), in Beijing, China March 11, 2017. /CFP Photo
For more on this, Wei Nanzhi, research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences sat down with CGTN to share her opinions.
China's aging population is growing rapidly, but despite the irreversible trend, there are measures that the government can take to deal with the issue, according to Wei.
Mainly caused by rapid economic development and the one-child policy, a “complex network of support systems for the elderly” should be established to “reduce the disparity between the rural and urban systems,” said Wei, in a bid to provide a better environment for the aging population, especially in less-developed rural areas, who are now in a “not very good” situation.
Also, the government should be more responsible for the aging population, those in low-income areas in particular, by offering community services and encouraging families to take responsibility for their family members, as well as helping the elderly helping themselves.
Meanwhile, many Chinese couples refuse to have a second child even though the “two-child policy” took effect early last year, due to economic pressures, and other factors, such as a lack of childcare services and working opportunities for mothers.
Wei believes that in order to encourage young couples to have more children, their financial burdens might be the first problem to solve.
“First of all, we should have some reforms in taxation policies and housing polices to help the families with more children to have better housing conditions and larger incomes,” said Wei.
Young parents also need help from society to take care of their children. “We should emphasize community care centers to take care of the elderly and children at the same time and same place,” said Wei, adding that this action will reduce social costs and help young couple as well.
For Wei, the most important thing is to have the relevant laws and regulations to oppose discrimination towards women to encourage them to have more children.