On an idyllic holiday, questions of population become a weighty matter

By Chen Liang ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-09-19 08:19:15

 On an idyllic holiday, questions of population become a weighty matter

An Indonesian man rides two bulls in a bull race locally called 'Karapan Brujul' in Probolinggo on the island of Java, which is home to 139 million people. Aman Rochman / Agence France Presse

Many Chinese born before 1979, like me, are sensitive to the population issue.

We often grew up in bigger families with more members than those born in and after 1979, when China adopted the one-child policy as one of its basic development strategies.

Over the years we have seen the size of Chinese families shrink, especially in cities, and felt the policy's profound influences on our daily lives and our society.

Now most of my colleagues are the only children of their families, and most of my friends, like me, have only one child.

I do miss those big family reunions held during Spring Festivals, when my grandmother, uncles, aunts, cousins, parents and brothers were all present, occasions that are now just memories.

Nevertheless, I strongly support the one-child policy, believing it has been good for the country economically and for the country's fragile environment.

I am a nature lover and had got used to seeing human settlements sprawling into the country's most remote nature reserves and worried about increasing human disturbance to our ecosystems. However, in recent years I have seen more deserted villages in or near protected areas of the country.

The government's effort to move human settlements out of national and provincial reserves in recent years is one reason. However, more importantly it is because of the fall in populations in rural areas and the country's rapid urbanization, coupled with the economic boom.

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