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www.wmfd.com - Chinese families are praising the government's decision to ease its one-child policy but David McKenzie explains why it's also been difficult for many of the only-children the policy has produced. }}" />

   
 
 
Some Won't Take Advantage Of China's One Child Policy Change

Story By: Larry Stine

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 11/23/2013 Chinese families are praising the government's decision to ease its one-child policy. It's been imposed on millions of families for more than three decades. David McKenzie explains why it's also been difficult for many of the only-children the policy has produced. At a restaurant on the outer edges of Beijing, Shiang Shiang's family gathers to celebrate her birthday and praise new changes in China's One Child Policy. Because now, school teacher Hou Fang is allowed to have a second child. "And, if I have one more child in the future I wish that the number could be three. Ha, Ha!" says Fang. For three generations, the One Child Policy shaped their family. Shiang Shiang's grandmother was one of nine children. But the law forced her to have only one. It was the same for Fang. It's made Shiang Shiang the center of their world, like in most Chinese families. But Fang and her husband remember what their own childhood was like. "As far as I am concerned, if she had a little brother or sister, it would be better for her," says Shi Liang, a software engineer. "Because I am an only child too. I was always lonely growing up." "Many millions of couples in China will now be allowed to have a second child," says CNN's David McKenzie. "It's one of the most significant reforms to the One Child Policy since it began in the late '70's, but had the Communist party waited, acted too late?" "Internally, I am very happy, excited," says Fang. "Unfortunately, for our family, I can not afford to raise one more child." Like many couples today in China, Fang says they are saddled with debt, struggling to handle soaring prices, and expected to support their aging parents. "As we get older, they are going to take care of all of us elderly," says Liu Bo, a grandmother. "How are they going to be able to do that?" The changes in the One Child Policy are meant to secure the future of China by giving a choice back to families. But for many, perhaps, it is a choice they cannot afford to take.
   
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