New rumors have surfaced that China could be changing its one-child policy, reports the Shanghaiist. He Yafu, an independent demographer, claims that the government will start allowing 2 children per couple in the five provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Jiangsu and Zhejiang next year.
“Couples will be allowed an extra child if one of the spouses is an only child in [these]five provinces, all of which have low birth rates”, says He Yafu. He also alleges that the plan will eventually expand to the nation as a whole in order to counter its problem of the ageing population. While we know the government has allowed exceptions for couples who both are only children, He Yafu claims now “it will only take one parent”.
He Yafu’s claims, however, contradict with the official line from the National Population and Family Planning Commission. And it isn’t clear on which He Yafu has based his claims. Indeed, Yao Yuan, a Renmin University demographics professor, points out in an interview with the Global Times, that "actually ‘two-children’ was never strictly banned. The family planning policy is flexible in order to accommodate people’s needs."
Unlike He Yafu, however, Professor Yao Yuan believes that policy change isn’t coming anytime soon. According to him, it’s not only a matter of numbers, but of distribution too. "China has still to face the growing population in the long run, most of which would flock to cities following the massive urbanization. It has to accommodate those people, provide them with public services, offer employment, and promote a more equal distribution of wealth."