GUANGZHOU: Parents who are the only children of their families are being
encouraged to have a second child in a major effort to balance the city's aging
"This is not a local policy, the encouragement we are giving conforms with
the national family planning system," said Duan Jianhua, deputy director of the
Guangzhou Population and Family Planning Committee.
According to a policy issued by the National Population and Family Planning
Commission in 2000, couples from one-child families in 27 provinces are allowed
to have a second child.
"The policy aims to help reduce the pressure on younger members of society
caused by ever-increasing aging populations," said Duan.
However, according to Duan, there are only a meager number of couples in the
city willing to have a second child, due to the increased financial burden.
"With both parents coming from one-child families, these couples will bear
full responsibility for looking after their parents and children," said Duan.
"As a result, many prefer even having no children to having two."
At present, Guangzhou has more than 100,000 married couples without children,
accounting for 11.3 per cent of the total number of married couples, according
In another development, the municiple government is considering providing
hard-up only-child families in Guangzhou with financial aid.
"We are attaching great importance to the living conditions of such families,
especially those where parents have lost their jobs and may not be able to
provide a healthy and sound living environment for their children," said Duan.
According to a recent survey by the local population and family planning
authority, more than 8,000 only-child families in the city have encountered
"great financial problems."
According to Duan, another city-wide survey is currently being conducted on
the state of one-child families.
Currently, Guangzhou has 372,631 one-child families, about 15 per cent of the
"The survey aims to provide a detailed look at living conditions, especially
families' financial situation," said Duan, adding that financial aid for
families with financial problems will be calculated on its results.
"Parents in these families often have been injured at work and laid off, or
fell seriously ill, leading to lower incomes," said Duan.
Based on the survey, the local population and family planning department will
submit a proposal to the Guangzhou municipal government, calling for more
financial support to these families.
"These families are supporters of the family planning policy. In turn, they
should be supported by the government," said Duan.