China has implemented the One Child Policy for more than 30 years. I have two brothers, and I am among the last generation to have brothers or sisters in the last 30 years. If the policy were enforced earlier, there would be no “me”. Well. In China, there is always a grace period between announcement of a policy and enforcing it.
Recent years, it changed. I don’t know exact the date, but for certain family, they can have two children. The criteria are, the both parents have to be the only child in their family. Before, there is a several year gap between the two children. I heard the interval requirement has been canceled.
Encourage to Have Second Child in Shanghai
At the same time of population pressure, there are aging pressure. In 2050-2070, there will be so many old people for the society to support, but there are so few work force at that time. To solve this problem, to increase the birth rate is a choice.
Shanghai has been in negative birth rate for many years. Shanghai is among the first to publicly encourage people who are both the only one child in their family to have the second child.
Ban at the Same Time
At the same time, people who are not qualified to have the second child still need to follow the one child policy. Violation will subject to fine of 2 times of annual household income, and other punishment. Interestingly, people who are not party member, or working for the government takes advantage here. For most people like myself, there are just huge amount of fine. For party members, and government staff, they face much more severe punishment than myself. They will lose their job, ruin their future, and more interestingly, hugely impact their manager’s future. If they have the second child, their manager will lose their job, and their manager’s manager will look very bad.
So, on one hand, it is not allowed for anyone else to have the second child, and on the other hand, they encourage others to have second child.
The Conflicting Policy
I can understand how this confusing policy comes. In a big system, it is not easy to coordinate different departments, and people to follow the same guideline. It happens in a small company of just few people, and it happens to a big government like that in China.
I believe eventually, the one child policy will expire, but not soon.