China is one of the largest and most lucrative global consumer markets for natural products.  People are rushing to buy natural make up, natural honey, natural healthcare products and organic food. 

But the glaring omission is the ability for a natural family.  In China couples have been forbidden from choosing their own family size for decades, meaning fertility is generally forcibly controlled through unnatural drugs and even forced abortions and sterialisation. 

However, with birth rates that remain stubbornly low despite the recent shift to a two child policy, China is now reaping what it unnaturally sowed, both economically and socially. 

Realizing the problems it has created with its one-child policy and the creation of a low fertility mentality, Chinese government officials may now enact a wide-ranging civil code that would end all restrictions on family size. All content on family planning has been dropped in a draft civil code being deliberated by top lawmakers, the Procuratorate Daily wrote in a post on its Weibo account.  The design of a new national stamp featuring three piglets for the 2019 Year of the Pig has further sparked speculation that change is in the pipeline.

It isn’t surprising that unnatural family regulations have led to unwanted, unnatural results, such as girls being killed in the womb or abandoned at birth, leaving an unnatural surplus of men who can’t find wives.   Marriage is increasingly approached like a sort of business deal with poor men missing out.  The gene editing industry also exploded in China, as who wanted an unhealthy one child? 

The Chinese family unit has been weakened in a profound way (in fact obedience to family was also one of the things Mao aimed to destroy in the cultural revolution in order that the State have more power to control people). Wang Feng, a professor of sociology at the University of California, Irvine, writes:

“'This rapid increase in single-person households represents a fundamental shift at the very bottom of the Chinese social structure … Households, often with many members co-residing, have long been the most basic units to organize production and consumption, to socialize individuals, and to maintain networks of political power and social support.'” 

Millions of elderly people now miss out on the natural children and grandchildren that once would have supported them in old age, and instead lie alone in old people’s homes.  The productive workforce has shrunk and is unable to easily support the elderly and other dependents to live dignified lives through taxes because the imbalance is too great.

It is hopeful for Chinese families that change is on the cards and that some of these consequences will now be slowly reversed.  However, as we have warned on this blog before, realizing the consequences of too few children and plummeting population projections, let's hope the Chinese government does not now forcibly enact that couples have more children.  This too would be unnatural and go against the right of every couple to decide their family size according to their unique circumstances.  

Given the problems already so clearly created through unnatural manipulation of its families, China should remain cognisent that children should never be forced or produced by an industry as just another product, but arise from the love between the baby's mother and father that is in fact the only way to naturally have a child. In fact, so should the rest of the world.

Shannon Roberts

Shannon Roberts is co-editor of MercatorNet's blog on population issues, Demography is Destiny. While she has a background as a barrister, writing has been a life-long passion and she has contributed...