As the US media goes into an overdrive of speculation that the Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant, allegedly with twins, spare a thought for parents in China. The long standing one child policy has been brutally enforced. Now though China is set to lose out as its population becomes an ageing one with a shortage of young people to take over.
The policy was introduced in 1978. It was at a time when China's population was increasing and out of control. In line with so many other governments around the world the response when it came was heavy handed. Isn't that so often the case? They not only lock the stable door after the horse has bolted but make changes which are negative.
A one child policy is cruel. It has been open to abuse by some. The authorities have strictly adhered to this policy for some but turned a blind eye in other cases. Now with too many elderly citizens what can they do? Knowing China anything. It is not beyond the bounds of belief that they will terminate older citizens but let us hope that even the Chinese would not go that far.
Reports have detailed terrible stories of forced abortion involving the authorities literally taking some pregnant women from their homes and aborting babies that are almost full term. A dreadful situation.
The controversial one child policy in China places more value on boys than girls. If the first born is a boy no more children are allowed, except in certain groups which are exempt. If the first is a girl they are allowed to undertake a second pregnancy in the hope that it will be a boy. It does not take a genius to realise that such policies will undermine women in the country and lead to unlawful killing or abortions of girl babies.
Ultra sound clinics which can tell the would be mother the sex of her unborn child are not strictly allowed but they operate around China. If the baby is not the right sex the parents will take whatever action they feel is appropriate. What a sorry state of affairs especially in the 21st Century. China may be the up and coming country in the world right now but in so many ways it remains in the dark ages.
According to the BBC by 2050 25% of China's population will be aged over 65.In 1950 life expectancy inChina was 44 but with modern health and life improvements that has increased. It is expected that this will leave individuals of the new generation caring for more than one generation of aged family members. As the State and families opt for boys over girls it will also leave a shortage of partners, wives and mothers for young men.
OPINION: Of course the way the world is going right now one or two scenarios could make a difference. The most probable is that some lunatic will start a war which escalates and gets rid of young and old alike sorting out population problems, at least for a time.