Beijing: The editorial of a Chinese state-run news portal suggested the Communist Party members are obliged to have three children for the nation's good, vent viral and irked Chinese netizens, The Guardian reported.
As the government tries to address the falling birth rates in the country, the article appeared this week, gathering sharp responses through millions of shares, views and comments and disappeared from the site.
The piece, published by China Reports Network, said that members of the ruling party should shoulder the responsibility and obligation of the country's population growth and act on the three-child policy. No party member should use any excuse not to marry or to have no children or limit to two children, it said.
Netizens responded that it would be difficult to raise three children if three children policy became mandatory. When considering jobs, companies want people willing to work for long hours, and if women have to leave early to take care of their kids, companies will choose not to recruit them.
Some said that they could afford only a single child, while others warned that the editorial message could harm people's faith in the party and, ultimately, the trust in the government.
China faces a demographic crisis of an ageing population- as more than 18 per cent is aged above 60- with declining birth rates. Statistics from 2020 showed 8.5 births per 1,000 people pulling the figure below 10 in decades, while it was more than 18 per 1,000 in 1978.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has implemented measures in response such as relaxing long-held limits on having children, easing the costs associated with education and child-rearing, subsidies for second and third children and mandatory "cooling off" periods for divorces, but brought limited impact.
The earlier one-child limit was ended in 2016, replacing it with the two-child, and in 2021, the limit was raised to three. But the country's youth, citing the high cost of living and pressures of jobs, prefers no children or a single child.