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IPFS News Link • China

China Reverses Course on Population Planning

•, Peter Jacobsen

The 20th century was full of attempts to centrally plan population. Scientists like Paul Ehrlich and businessmen like Hugh Moore spent their lives putting direct pressure on politicians and citizens into addressing the looming specter of "overpopulation."

Population doomer language was often dramatic and often included predictions of mass death within just decades.

The predictions never got anywhere close to happening. Humanity never ran out of food—or any other resources for that matter—before the turn of the century.

But population doomers did have an impact. Governments like the United States through USAID and organizations like the United Nations Fund for Population activities (UNFPA) focused extensive organizational resources into curbing world population.

This push manifested in the first UN Population Award given to leaders in China and India in 1983.

Both countries at the time had utilized coercive tactics to slow population growth, but one has stuck in the zeitgeist as the primary example of population planning—China and its infamous one child policy.

A little over a week ago on October 30th, CCP leader Xi Jinping implicitly made a monumental admission—China's population policy was a big mistake.

2022 marked the first year in over six decades where China recorded a population drop. This isn't just a blip. Unless something changes, China's population will fall increasingly quickly for the foreseeable future.

To combat this, Xi says, "[w]e must actively cultivate a new culture of marriage and childbearing." Although CCP leaders would never admit the population policies of the past were a mistake, for fear of admitting a failure of late dictator Mao Zedong, this course reversal comes as close to an admission as anyone is likely to get.