Under the misleading headline, “China to Ease One-Child Policy,” Xinhua reports that China will now lift the ban on a second child, if either parent is an only child. This minor reform will not “ease” the One Child Policy. It will merely tweak it.
All the reasons for this adjustment are economic or demographic: China’s dwindling labor force, the country’s growing elderly population, and the severe gender imbalance. Completely absent from the discussion is the issue of human rights violations. China has not promised to end forced abortion, forced sterilization or forced contraception. The coercive enforcement of China’s One Child Policy is its core.