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The ‘Family’ as a Philosophical Issue in China
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China’s looming demographic crisis has brought to the fore conflicting views in today’s Chinese society on what a “family” should be. In practice, the Chinese family has become nuclear: a couple and their child form the unitary nucleus through which family members support each other and protect themselves as much as possible from external pressures and conditioning. Often, after a child is born, the family unit is joined by the parents of one of the spouses to help the young couple take care of the child so that the wife and husband can concentrate on their work. Often, the grandparents return home when the child shows signs of becoming independent.

This model promotes closeness and mutual protection and favors the choice most couples make of investing everything in one child, or two at the most. The high costs associated with education and medical expenses tend to reinforce this strategic decision, even after 2016, the year in which the end of the one-child policy was decreed. (Some municipalities and provinces are now launching pilot projects to favor families with two or more children).

In fact, a fair percentage of couples choose not to have any children. In 2022, official statistics recorded 850,000 fewer births than deaths.
© Union of Catholic Asian News 2024
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