China population: Beijing’s ‘Year of the Pig’ stamp for 2019 hints at major shift in two-child policy

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New Delhi | Updated: August 8, 2018 10:34:24 AM

Notably, the "Year of The Pig" stamp is a departure from 2016 when China had unveiled the "Year of the Monkey" stamp that showed two baby monkeys in its depiction of a Chinese family.

China flagSignalled that it is thinking about relaxing its existing birth restrictions, the imagery on “Year of the Pig” stamp for 2019 unveiled on Monday depicts a happy family of pigs with three piglets

China has hinted that it may be considering to do away with its two-child policy in order to counter its ageing population. Signalled that it is thinking about relaxing its existing birth restrictions, the imagery on “Year of the Pig” stamp for 2019 unveiled on Monday depicts a happy family of pigs with three piglets, The Indian Express reported. Experts see this imagery pointing to China’s plans to make a big announcement by the year-end as the country celebrates its 40th anniversary of reform and opening up, the report says.

Notably, the “Year of The Pig” stamp is a departure from 2016 when China had unveiled the “Year of the Monkey” stamp that showed two baby monkeys in its depiction of a Chinese family. Following the release of this stamp, Beijing had announced that the one-child policy had been abandoned. “China’s demographic dividend is dwindling, labour costs are rising and social security pressure is large,” the mouthpiece of the Communist Party of China, People’s Daily said.

According to a Bloomberg report, China’s population is ageing rapidly, with the number of births falling by 3.5 per cent to 17.23 million last year despite the country’s decision in late 2015 to relax the controversial “one-child” policy and allow couples to have a second child. China implemented its one-child policy in the 1970s to limit population growth, but authorities are concerned that a dwindling workforce will not be able to support an increasingly ageing population. The one-child policy also contributed to a sharp gender imbalance, with 32.66 million more males than females at the end of 2017.

Photo of Chinese stamp

Earlier this year, a UN report predicted that India’s population could surpass that of China’s around 2024 and is projected to touch 1.5 billion in 2030. “The World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision”, published by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, stated that currently China with 1.41 billion inhabitants and India with 1.34 billion remain the two most populous countries, comprising 19 and 18 per cent of the total global population. “In roughly seven years, or around 2024, the population of India is expected to surpass that of China,” the report said.

The 2017 Revision of World Population Prospects is the 25th round of official UN population estimates and projections. In its 24th round of estimates released in 2015, it was projected that the population of India will surpass that of China’s by 2022.

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