From 1979 to 2016, China had implemented a one-child policy in order to control their rapidly growing population.

Now with an ageing population, the country has altered their anti-natal policy to two children per household in the last couple of years for rejuvenation. However, many are speculating that the almost 40-year family planning policy might be eliminated completely in the next few years.

A newspaper ran by the state, the Procuratorate Daily, cited a draft civil code which no longer has any references to family planning.

Introduced in 1979, the policy limited families to one child per household. This rule was the centre of many ethical issues as it resulted in some women getting forced abortions and even sterilised in its 40-year history.

The punishment for giving birth to more than one child was a hefty fine by the authorities. The charge is still implemented now that there is a two-child policy.

Perhaps one of the biggest ethical concerns is child favouritism as a result of the anti-natal law. There has been a disparity in the child gender ratio as many families favour boys instead of girls.

As a result of this, there is a significant fraction of girls who have been given up for adoption and the male to female population has been uneven.

In the 1990s, it had been predicted that due to the male to female ratio of 117:100, by 2020, there would be 30 million more men in China than women; creating social instability.

Put into perspective, the policy has succeeded in slowing the birth rate in China. However, now with an ageing population, the country sees itself with another challenge as their work force is shrinking.

China is an economic titan which is currently at its peak phase of industrialisation. In order to maintain their dominance in business and cement themselves as a global superpower, they must allow the population to grow more freely.

Economists have theorised the outcome of overpopulation with some saying the results would be catastrophic while others, such as Esther Boserup, believe in humans and their ways of adapting to new challenges.

With the largest population in the world, would it be wise for China to take away its anti-natal policy?

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