Ambassador (retd.) Kishan S Rana, Honorary Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies.
China’s decision to permit all families to have two children, announced on 29 October 2015, was long in coming. It was preceded by a concession earlier in that year, allowing those parents that were single children themselves to opt for a second child, after permission. The simple rationale behind all this has been a precipitous fall in the total fertility rate (TFR) (i.e. the average number of children per woman in her lifetime); this is now at 1.55, i.e. significantly below the ‘replacement rate’ of 2.1, which is what is needed for a stable population. This has several implications and consequences.