Opinion / From the Press

Two-children proposal needs ample discussion

( Updated: 2012-11-05 21:24

A recent proposal put forward by the China Development Research Foundation — a think tank started by the Development Research Center of the State Council — said that China should allow two children per family instead of one.

The proposal needs to be adequately discussed. Family planning is a fundamental State policy that shows the long-term strategic development of a country, says an article from the Changjiang Daily. Excerpts:

China is the world's most populous country, with a huge consumption of resources, and that is a problem in the long run. China's family structure and people's perceptions of family are undergoing profound changes.

An unbalanced age structure is becoming all the more distinctive, with a graying society approaching. Demographic pressures pose new challenges to economic growth.

Experts and institutes voice their opinions based on their respective research areas and knowledge, and they lead to a circular argument. Would a new family planning policy solve the social and economic problems, or were the current problems brought by the demographic policies?

However, some key issues are not controversial, such as the measures for tackling population problems, the ways to formulate or modify policies, as well as the judgment of values.

We need to examine family planning issues beyond the perspective of social governance. People's views on reproduction and their right to give birth are being marginalized when faced with the main agenda of specialized experts.

Though experts provide intellectual support for society, the people's real feelings cannot be adequately interpreted by them. The general public is expected to participate in policy discussion, and is also encouraged to take initiatives to broaden the mindset and perspectives on the issue.

A new policy allowing two children per family needs ample discussion. Consensus is needed in terms of the timeline to phase out the current family planning policy.

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