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Chinese couples can not afford a second child, no matter what Beijing says



Living in Suzhou in the eastern province of Jiangsu, Chen earns $ 730 (5000 yuan) per month as a high school teacher, and her husband makes $ 2,500 (16,000 yuan) a month working at a US sales department in the neighboring Shanghai.

Growing their 2-year-old, Xi'an, absorbs at least a third of the family's annual income. Relatively, in the United States, such a family is worth a fifth of its child-raising income. Chen's financial struggle reflects the difficulties faced by millions of other middle-class families in China, and is the main reason why the ruling Communist Party is struggling to raise birth rates in the country.

Three years ago the party set off

The result is not what Beijing expected.

China's population growth slowed down in 201

8 by 15.23 million live births, a decline of 2 million from the previous year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

More than 50% of families have no intention of having a second child, according to a survey for 2017, and the price is one of the main reasons.
  Chen Huuihuan with his son, Siyan, whose education and healthcare account for about a third of the household's salary.

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"I will never think of having a second child, that's too expensive," says Chen.

This is the main headache for the ruling party, which gives priority to economic growth, but fights with the declining workforce and the aging population.
More than 240 million Chinese people are over 60 years old in 2017, according to official data – more than 17% of the population. The forecast is that the figure will increase to one third of the population by 2050 – or 480 million people. By 2030, it is believed that the country's population will shrink, fueling fears that China will grow old before it becomes rich. Parents and experts say that child-raising costs in China have risen sharply as the country's living standards have improved and public confidence in domestic products is weakened.

In 2008, Chinese milk milk killed at least six babies and caused problems with kidney stones and urinary tracts of hundreds of thousands of children. This scandal still haunts many parents in China. Chen does not even believe in local food.

  Xiyan had health problems that needed expensive trips to the hospital.

Expenditure on education and entertainment is also a serious source according to Wang Dan, Deputy Director of the Center for the Study of Education in China at the University of Hong Kong.

By 1990, most people in China had used public education, which was free or at a minimal cost, Dan said. "But now education has become a big industry," she added. "Of course, (total) spending will be increased."

Feeling the pressure of an increasingly competitive society, Chen started buying Xiaon's educational toys while she was pregnant not to "lose the starting line".

Chinese families have always stressed the importance of learning at an early age, says Manhong Lai, an associate professor at Hong Kong's University of Hong Kong. AI robots convert parenthood to China ” data-src-mini=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180810163915-china-ai-early-education-3-small-169.jpg” data-src-xsmall=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180810163915-china-ai-early-education-3-medium-plus-169.jpg” data-src-small=”http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180810163915-china-ai-early-education-3-large-169.jpg” data-src-medium=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180810163915-china-ai-early-education-3-exlarge-169.jpg” data-src-large=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180810163915-china-ai-early-education-3-super-169.jpg” data-src-full16x9=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180810163915-china-ai-early-education-3-full-169.jpg” data-src-mini1x1=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180810163915-china-ai-early-education-3-small-11.jpg” data-demand-load=”not-loaded” data-eq-pts=”mini: 0, xsmall: 221, small: 308, medium: 461, large: 781″ src=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhEAAJAJEAAAAAAP///////wAAACH5BAEAAAIALAAAAAAQAAkAAAIKlI+py+0Po5yUFQA7″/>

But Lai said that one child policy further focuses the attention of parents on their only offspring, which makes them invest even more in education. "The competition for good schools is very strong, so the parents are very serious and put a lot of pressure on their children to compete," she said.

Chen and her husband spend 737 dollars (5000 yuan) per month on a bilingual son's day center – all her monthly salary.

This is not just basic education, or – extracurricular activities bite the annual cost of families.

Fan Mon and her husband are full time. professionals working in Beijing, but both say they will not have a second child. "Nowadays raising a child is very expensive for the family," said Fan.

Not only is their 5-year-old daughter, Chi Xuanru, playing a musical instrument – the Chinese guang jung – but she also loves skiing and diving. Fan said they wanted to support her even if the price was high …

"Today, kids are not like us when we were young, just just had to be in school, and now my daughter has her own hobbies," she said .

Many parents worry that government-funded primary medical care is insufficient to cover severe illnesses. Chen's son, for example, suffered from intestinal and stomach problems and had to visit the hospital once a month before being 2 years old.

  Study: China faces

But even after Chen found a good doctor, she said she had to present the medical specialist with a bribe – money filled in red [19659906] China has one of the worst relationships between doctors and patients among developed countries, and the overwhelmed public health system may require patients to bribe for quality treatment.

On top of this there are recipe costs and the annual $ 2200 (15,000 yuan) account for her son's private medical insurance.

"I always want to give my child the best, the best doctors, the best toys, the best education," Chen said. and maternity leave .

In Hubei province, a city offers free delivery of children to women who have a second child, while another city will give $ 179 (1200 yuan) to a citizen with another offspring.
Now there are rumors that Beijing can ever get rid of its birth rate in an attempt to further increase birth rates. "Having a child is not a personal choice," she said. "This is a choice for your own life."

Meng said that while her parents would prefer to have a house "full of children and grandchildren," she feels different. "For me a baby is enough," she said. "A baby is what I can afford in terms of energy and money."

Ben Westcott from CNN contributed to this report.


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