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 population.
"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
"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
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 to Duan.
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 total.
"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
"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.