Source | China News Weekly ( ID: chinanewsweekly)

Author | 佟 西 中

Head Image | IC photo

The topic of “Houlang” was popular on the Internet some time ago, and young people in the new generation have received much attention. However, what many people do not know is that there are fewer and fewer “post waves”.

“The latest data released by the National Bureau of Statistics shows that the number of births in 2019 is 580,000 fewer than in 2018. This is the number of domestic births that have declined for three consecutive years since the implementation of the comprehensive two-child policy.”

“According to the 2010 census data, the numbers of post-80s, post-90s, and post-00s were 219 million, 188 million, and 147 million.” The number of people born after 2000 is 41 million fewer than the post-90s, and less than the post-80s 72 million less.

What should I do? On May 18, Huang Xihua, the representative of the National People’s Congress and the general manager of the Guangdong Tourism Holding Group, gave a solution in an interview with China News Weekly: it is recommended to remove the birth restriction.

“Unreasonable to punish the third child if you let go of the second child”

Huang Xihua will submit the “Recommendations on Constructing a Fertility-Friendly Society” at the National Two Sessions this year. The proposal consists of five items: abolition of childbirth restrictions; change of concept of childbirth; reduction of childcare costs; subsidies for childcare services; strengthening labor protection for female employees during pregnancy and promoting women ’s continuous employment.

The most notable of these is the removal of birth restrictions. Huang Xihua believes that the country has now fully implemented the two-child policy, but it will still punish more than three children (including three children). “This sends a wrong signal to the society that the present birthThe rate is not low enough, and still have to restrict fertility, which is not in line with the current demographic situation. “

The demographic situation has changed. This is the argument that she put forward this suggestion. “This is contradictory in itself. It is unreasonable to punish the third child if you let go of the second child.”

“I myself studied ecology, and paid special attention to ecological balance, especially population balance.” Huang Xihua told China News Weekly that she had been making suggestions for the population for ten years.

Proposing the above suggestions, she gave three arguments: the accumulation effect of the second child’s birth is getting weaker; the number of women of childbearing age will continue to decrease in the next few years;

Huang Xihua said that the so-called accumulation of two children means that many non-independent couples wanted to have two children in the past, but the policy did not allow it. Later the policy was liberalized, and the previously suppressed reproductive will of the second child was released.

Public reports show that the policy of fully opening the second child was implemented in October 2015. After the official announcement of this policy, the one-child policy, which had been implemented for more than 30 years, also officially ended. From 2016 to 2019, the proportion of second-child births is relatively high, which is also considered to be the cumulative effect of the two-child policy.

However, Huang Xihua has grasped that “the latest data released by the National Bureau of Statistics shows that the national birth population in 2019 is 580,000 fewer than that in 2018. This is the third consecutive year since the implementation of the comprehensive two-child policy. . “The 2010 census data shows that the numbers of post-80s, post-90s, and post-00s are 219 million, 188 million, and 147 million.”

It can be seen from this that there were 41 million fewer people born after 2000 than 72, and 72 million fewer than 80.

“Experiences in many countries in the world show that when a country ’s fertility rate is too high, it is relatively easy for the government to take measures to reduce the fertility rate; on the contrary, when the fertility rate is too low, the government encourages childbirth with little effect.” < / p>

Huang Xihua added that the most obvious ones are South Korea and Singapore. “In recent years, they have vigorously encouraged fertility, but the fertility rate has not increased significantly.”

The opinion of scholar He Yafu is similar to that of Huang Xihua. He told China News Weekly that “people’s desire to have children is not so strong, not to mention that many families do not have the desire to have two children.”

Dong Qingqian, a postdoctoral fellow of the Institute of Population and Labor Economics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and a local talent policy research director at the global think tank, also agreed to lift birth restrictions. In an interview with China News Weekly, he said that at the beginning of the formulation of the family planning policy, the central government mentioned that “30 years laterTo adopt a different population policy “, and this policy has exceeded 40 years today. In addition, from the experience of developed countries in the world, China ’s future population fertility rate will continue to decline; from the perspective of human social development history, the population is one This strategic resource is not a negative asset.

“To maintain a normal generational replacement level”

In fact, there are not so many voices in the society about letting go of birth restrictions, mainly in two aspects:

First, our population base is very large, with a population of 1.4 billion, so our natural environmental carrying capacity, and whether all aspects of society ’s resources can be accommodated, will it increase resource tension;

The second is whether the population will be divided into two levels, and people ’s living standards are different. Those who want to have multiple children are, after all, a minority, so the wealthy and rural people with poor conditions may have more children.

Huang Xihua believes that a large population base is a fact, but the so-called “environmental carrying capacity is a pseudo-proposition”. The core of the population problem is actually a structural problem, and it is necessary to maintain a normal generational replacement level.

The First Financial Daily reported that “According to the National Population Bureau ’s sample surveys over the years, China has been below the level of generation replacement since the 1990s, and the total fertility rate has stabilized at around 1.4”.

Huang Xihua suggested that “for example, raising it to a level of 2 or 2.1 or 2.2 is normal. That is, each family has an average of two children.”

She explained the bearing capacity of natural resources from both horizontal and vertical perspectives. Looking at the initial stage of the founding of New China longitudinally, the population is only more than 400 million, and many people still cannot eat enough food, but the development of science and technology has made 1.4 billion people hungry.

Comparing other countries in the world, such as Japan, South Korea, and Singapore, they are encouraging birth. If China does not have resources, would n’t they be even more resourceless?

While worried about the “population differentiation of the population”, Huang Xihua said that the number of children born is determined by the family, which is a personal choice.

She pointed out that liberalizing birth control is not to encourage everyone to have children, but to give the people the right to choose, “If you feel happy to have five or six children, it is also possible to choose not to have children. of”.

“This kind of life is rich and colorful, and the population structure will also reach a balance.” As for the rural areas, there will be more children, Huang Xihua said that it is their ownI have chosen, “You can’t let the students live because of poor living standards.”

Long Jianzhang, a professor at Peking University ’s Guanghua School of Management, has also issued a long-term call for encouraging fertility. The reason why Japan ’s economy will enter a long-term decline is due to serious problems with fertility rates and population structure. He believes that the reduction in population will affect China’s innovation, whether it is the improvement of population quality or artificial intelligence, can not replace the advantage of population size.

For China, Liang Jianzhang believes that “it is not enough to just let go of fertility, but we must also introduce policies that strongly encourage fertility to reverse the decline of low fertility.”

It is undeniable that the population issue is of vital importance, with long-term, strategic and overall characteristics. The reduction in the birth population will inevitably have a profound impact on all aspects of China ’s future.

Huang Xihua mentioned that the population issue involves all aspects of the country and will also affect our economic development. “After the reform and opening up, the reason why the Pearl River Delta has developed so quickly is because of the abundant labor force, people from all over the country gather here to work hard to create and create value.”

“But if there is no one, all this is impossible to talk about. We often use GDP per capita to represent economic development, but we do not know that human is the denominator, GDP is the numerator, and the numerator is created by the denominator.”

In her view, “to treat people as a resource, crowds will drive consumption, and the approval of projects by relevant departments will also depend on the size of the population. If there is not enough people, they will not repair the airport or the subway.”

“Now is the time to change ideas”

In the interview, Huang Xihua emphasized the term “regularity” very much. “Population also has its natural laws. Just like our economic laws, it has a balance. I think the population’s structural balance is more important than quantity.”

He Yafu believes that it is not enough just to adjust the birth policy, and it is also necessary to increase investment in public services such as medical care, health and education, and introduce supporting measures.

As for the supporting measures, Huang Xihua also mentioned, such as changing the concept of fertility and reducing the cost of childcare.

She bluntly stated in the proposal that in the past 40 years, from newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations, to the neighborhood committee’s publicity column, family planning propaganda has been flooded. Many Chinese people have also accepted the wrong concept of fertility, such as “fewer births and faster prosperity” and “people are burdens”. Now is the time to change the concept.

In terms of reducing the cost of childcare, the Ministry of Finance may consider issuing childbirth subsidies as a whole. Huang Xihua suggested that from the birth of a child to the age of 6 years old, the state finance will give a certain amount of childcare subsidies every month. The specific amount can refer to the local minimum wage standard. In addition, an important reason why many dual-worker families dare not have children is to worry about leaving them unattended.

For this reason, she also suggested that governments at all levels can coordinate all kinds of resources according to local conditions and build nurseries and kindergartens that can meet local needs. Parents and the government should bear half of the cost of admission.

In addition, it is necessary to strengthen the labor protection of female employees during pregnancy and promote the continued employment of women. Huang Xihua suggested that the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security take the lead in formulating labor protection policies for female employees during pregnancy to ensure that female employees enjoy full paid maternity leave and accumulate seniority when returning to work.

At the same time, in order to alleviate the pressure brought about by the birth of female employees, it is recommended that the State Administration of Taxation implement corresponding corporate income tax reduction measures for enterprises that employ female employees.