Thursday saw China put an end to its one-child policy, allowing all couples to have two children for the first time since 1980. Among all the items detailed in the 13th Five-Year Plan, a communiqué formulated at the just-concluded Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, the all-out relaxation of the decades-long family planning policy quickly drew enormous attention.
The one-child policy was abandoned amid accusations and complaints, but its final judgment may not be that bad. The family planning policy managed to control China's birth rate, alleviating China's burden in resources and giving impetus to its economic takeoff. The one-child policy was subject to extreme evaluations, but only time can give it an objective judgment.
The lifting of the one-child policy is a decision made after thorough analysis of China's demographic structure. From the one-child policy to a two-child policy, the transition has been smoothly conducted step by step, which has successfully avoided an unsustainable baby boom and other social risks.
The new Five-Year Plan should be regarded as a triumph of the people's will, as many policies have echoed people's long-term appeals.
The 13th Five-Year Plan has endorsed, once again, a particular logic embedded in Chinese society-reasonable and widely-demanded appeals will be accepted by the administration and formulated as national policies.
The facts prove that people are widely involved in the process of policymaking. Every individual has the right to discuss national policies. The Five-Year Plan was laid down by both the elite and the grassroots.
The one-child policy has been castigated and cursed for quite a long time. Although rabid, many of these words pushed the policy to be reversed eventually. What bigotry can do is not always bad, but this will never represent the mainstream of society. More complications will emerge as pluralism has the upper hand in Chinese society.
The new Five-Year Plan convincingly shows the commitment of the ruling party to building a moderately prosperous society. China still lacks social equity in comparison with developed countries, but the Chinese government has tried its best to balance efficiency and equity in social development.
According to the Five-Year Plan, China's GDP in 2020 will be double that of 2010. The goal cannot be fulfilled if China doesn't improve many social aspects such as social security and environmental protection. Although China still faces pressure from an economic downturn, the government is still able to maintain its authority, which is a cornerstone of public trust in Chinese society.