For an entire generation, one child has been the benchmark family planning policy in large swaths of China. Now, the government wants parents to “get it on” and have a second child to ease falling birth rates. But three decades of living under a strict political policy has heavily influenced personal choice. Nine months after the government moved to a two-child policy, far fewer parents have applied to have a second child than what officials say is needed to keep China going.

That is creating a problem in a country with an aging population. There are more than one billion people living in China, and roughly 220 million of them are over the age of 60. So, Beijing is trying to encourage a baby boom to deal with a shrinking workforce. But is this too little, too late? The previous policy created a massive gender imbalance. With 33 million more men than women, the prospect of Chinese men finding a mate does not look promising. Join us today at 19:30 GMT.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak to:

Mei Fong @meifongwriter
Author, "One Child: The Story of China's Most Radical Experiment"

Luoming Zhang 
English teacher

Qinduo Xu
Current affairs commentator, China Radio International

Yige Dong 
PhD candidate, Johns Hopkins University

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