China's one child policy - with Mei Fong

Guest: Mei Fong, journalist and author, One Child (Bloomsbury, 2017)

Host: Elena Collinson, Senior Project and Research Officer, Australia-China Relations Institute (ACRI), University of Technology Sydney

China’s one child policy was introduced by the Chinese Government in the post-Mao era in an attempt to curb the country’s population growth, which policymakers saw as an impediment to China’s economic development. Although the Chinese Government replaced it with a ‘two child policy’ in January 2016, the effects of the policy continue to reverberate.

Mei Fong, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, former China correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and author of the book One Child, joins Elena Collinson to discuss the consequences of the policy for China and the rest of the world.

The lasting effects of China’s one child policy include a significant gender imbalance, an ageing population, and a decline in the number of working-age citizens. These have had flow-on effects on China’s social and economic development. The implementation of the new two child policy, will not have a significant impact on China’s population growth. It is difficult to slow down population growth, but just as difficult to increase it; the effects of family planning policies cannot be reversed on demand.

Theme music by Sam J Mitchell.

August 02 2017