To cope with its fast-aging society, China changed its family planning policy in 2015 to allow all couples to have two children. But according to the National Bureau of Statistics, China saw 17.23 million newborns last year, 630,000 fewer than 2016. People's Daily Overseas Edition comments:
Children are pearls in the palms of every family. But now having children has become a matter of attracting the attention of the whole society.
The authorities should draw a lesson from the birth statistics that drives home the message that although the fertility rate can be limited by the law, it can't be increased by it. More than a change to the family planning policy is needed to encourage couples to have two kids.
Some local governments have already started providing financial incentives to parents raising two young kids. Which is the right way to boost the fertility rate.
It is not rocket science to understand people's reluctance. Exorbitant housing prices, the difficulty of finding or affording nannies, the fierce competition to secure a seat in public kindergartens and schools and the burden of taking care of the elder family members are all factors that make couple's hesitate before having a second child.
That none of the problems can be easily solved means the fall of China's fertility rate will likely continue for a while.
Rather than simply saying we must increase the size of the cake to feed the nation's hunger. It is necessary for couples to know they will receive practical support if their willingness to have a second child is stimulated
The government needs to provide assistance to ease the burden on couples if the nation's fertility rate is to increase. It should introduce targeted measures so as to help satisfy people's yearning for and pursuit of better lives.
(Source: China Daily)
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