Chinese state media on Sunday announced a new “five-year plan” to massively increase in vitro fertilization (IVF) to avoid population collapse. The Chinese government officially admitted over the weekend that birth rates had fallen below 1%, hitting a 43-year low.
Some analysts to believe China may have entered a period of net population decline, a conclusion drawn from examining files that the Communist Party would probably not think of changing to cover up the true extent of its demographic collapse.
The latest official government figures, reported by the government World time Saturday, found a birth rate of 8.52 per thousand in 2020.
The World time quoted analysts who said the coronavirus pandemic has dramatically accelerated a population decline trend that began years ago:
An article published in May this year in a professional journal Population Research, affiliated with the China Population and Development Research Center, found that the monthly decline in the birth rate nosedived in 2020 compared to the same period in 2015, with November and December down above 45 percent respectively.
Meanwhile, statistics from the Ministry of Civil Affairs show that there were 5.88 million marriages registered in the first three quarters of this year, down 17.5% from last year. There were 966,000 couples registered for divorce in the first half of this year, a 50% drop from the same period last year.
Chinese authorities appear to have underestimated the enormous inertia of population decline produced by the infamous one-child policy, a strict limit of one child per family imposed four decades ago to combat overpopulation. The limit of a child was relaxed to two children in 2015 and slackened again to three children in August 2021, but very little improvement in birth rates has occurred.
Sunday, World time reported that Beijing “is following the implementation of the three-child policy” by dramatically increasing the number of clinics offering IVF:
Challenged by the current situation, earlier this year the NHC issued guidelines for the application of assisted reproductive technologies, requiring provinces and cities to set up an institution for $ 2.3 million to $ 3 million. people. According to the standard, Anhui province plans to establish 10 more assisted reproduction institutions, while Shaanxi province plans to add 10 and Shanxi province (north China) plans to establish 4. others, The Paper reported.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the proportion of women aged 35 and over who are not of the optimal age for childbearing is increasing year by year. This has resulted in various fertility issues among them.
From 2007 to 2020, infertility rates in China rose from 12% to 18%, and more couples with fertility difficulties are choosing to have children through assisted reproduction technology, reported The Paper.
CNN speculated in August that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been reluctant to expand IVF services so far because it feared affluent single career women would use technology to have children out of wedlock. The CCP has tried to encourage marriage and maintain interest in family traditions while grappling with its population problem.
In fact, some Chinese authorities feared that IVF technology would make the problem of the people worse because women would assume they could use egg freezing and in vitro fertilization procedures to have children later in life, eliminating any lingering sense of urgency to get married and start having children at an early age.
Single Chinese women complained about government policies that explicitly prohibited hospitals from giving single women access to assisted reproduction technologies. Single women had to make expensive trips abroad for egg processing and storage, often to Hong Kong. On the other hand, there are few restrictions against men who freeze their semen.
“We encourage young people to marry and reproduce at the most appropriate time. The public needs to be better informed about the medical risks associated with egg freezing technology, and the success rate of thawing fertilization of frozen eggs is very low, ”fertility doctor Sun Wei said this year.
The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported last week that birth rates are falling even in rural China, which has long been able to offset population decline in cities. Rural birth rates are now declining faster than those in cities, perhaps because low-income rural youth are even more worried about the high cost of raising children.