For the first time in 30 years, officials in the country’s economic capital have urged eligible parents to plan for a second child. The move was prompted by the growing demographic imbalance in the city and fears that the younger generation will not be able to support the ageing population. The one-child system, where all pregnancies are monitored and sometimes terminated by order, was enforced to control a population that is the largest in the world at more than 1.3 billion.
One couple in Beijing with a two-year-old son, who are entitled to a second child, said that they preferred to forgo the privilege. “It costs more than 35,000 yuan (£3,500) a year just to leave our baby in a kindergarten. Why spend this amount of money on a second?” one of the parents said. Many young couples are willing to have one child to continue the family line, but they let the grandparents raise it so that they can go to bars and restaurants and go shopping and travelling without being restricted by the responsibilities of children.
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