There is a slow but steady movement going on in China with their previous hard lines softening under both internal and external influence. Today it has been mooted that they are looking to relax the one child policy that has been tried in some cities with families in which one or both parents are only children. That along with other policies, are we starting to see the relaxing of the old China and the emergence of the new?
There is an aging population in China just now – much as many other countries – but with their one child policy in place for over thirty years there is a gap emerging that will leave a quarter of the population over 65 and having to be cared for in the coming decades. The main thing for many people, including myself, is that perhaps we will see a reduction in the horrific attitude towards girls and the missing children that has become so commonplace in China. The Channel 4 documentary of a couple of years ago was too horrendous to watch at times and perhaps the relaxing of this law would help.
The support for the private sector to boost the economy is on the cards – well officially anyway, as many know there has been an exclusive capitalist clique there for several years now. Acknowledging the power and market underpinning the private sector could bring might open them up further as a country and remove many of the barriers to knowledge and the world from the lives of the Chinese. There is always the issue whether they will be better off with that knowledge, but that is for the country to work out for itself.
The big issue for China is still the ongoing abuses of human rights across the country from women’s issues with forced abortions, the political denial to information and protest, work camps, death penalty for lower level crimes, freedom of speech and access to the internet and the heavy-handed way that they deal with opposition or democratic demonstrators all show that this is a country that has a long way to go before even dipping its toe in the real world.
If you consider that China along with Russia and Saudi Arabia were elected to the UN’s human Right’s panel earlier this week perhaps this is an opportutnity to wipe some slates clean for China. Mind you next to those two countries, especially Putin’s Russia, it’s hard not to look like a more moderate country.