Beijing (AsiaNews) - The population of China reached 1.34 billion units, an increase compared to 2010 amounting to 6.3 million people. This was announced by the National Statistics Office, who presented data from a sample survey and as such not definitive.
That is until next month, when Beijing will make public the results of large national survey completed last year across the country. This is the first public census to have been ordered in the last 10 years.
In any case, the data presented in China has revived the debate on the validity of the one-child law. Launched in 1979, it requires urban couples to have only one child, in rural areas it can be up to two, but only in certain cases decided by the authorities.
According to Deng Xiaoping, who launched it, it is essential to control overpopulation, but - with brutal methods applied, forced abortions and widespread violence - it has been repeatedly denounced by internal dissidents and criticized even by part of the political class.
Chai Ling, a former leader of the revolt of 1989 who has worked for years against abortion targeted against female foetuses and forced abortions in general, describes the law as a "Tiananmen, which occurs every hour, a targeted massacre that the world can and must stop before it's too late”.
In addition to the drama on human rights, the one-child rule is likely to bring down the country’s system. With the progressive aging of the population and the lack of young workforce, in fact, China risks the collapse of the national pension system.
A major social factor should also be considered, which sees the abortion almost always of female fetuses in the name of the traditional male supremacy. Currently, there are about 40 million men who do not (and will never have) a chance to marry and raise a family.
According to Cai Yong, a professor at the University of North Carolina and an expert of the Chinese population, "China's population now is mainly growing because people are living longer, not because people are having lots of babies. To have a stable society, you better start now, to think ahead of time because it takes 20 to 30 years to have another generation come down the line”.