《经济学人》:中国计划生育政策
日期:2011-07-29 11:15

(单词翻译:单击)

China's family planning
中国计划生育政策

Illegal children will be confiscated
违法生育就没收孩子

The one-child policy is not just a human-rights abomination; it has also worsened a demographic problem
独生子女政策不仅在人权方面广受诟病,它也使得人口问题雪上加霜
Jul 21st 2011 | from the print edition

“BEFORE 1997 they usually punished us by tearing down our houses for breaching the one-child policy…After 2000 they began to confiscate our children.” Thus Yuan Chaoren, a villager from Longhui county in Hunan province, describing in Caixin magazine the behaviour of family-planning bureaucrats. According to Caixin, local officials would take “illegal children” and pack them off to orphanages where they were put up for adoption. Foreign adoptive parents paid $3,000-5,000 per child. The bureaucrats collected a kickback.
“1997年以前,对违反独生子女政策的处罚是打烂房子…2000年以后,不砸房子了,没收小孩。”安徽省隆回县村民袁朝仁接受财新《新世纪》采访时,这样讲述了计生干部的所作所为。据财新报道,当地官员抓住“非法儿童”,把他们送到孤儿院(即社会福利院,译注),用来被人收养。外籍家庭收养一个孩子支付3000至5000美元,官员们则收取提成。

Stealing children is not an official part of Beijing’s one-child policy, but it is a consequence of rules that are a fundamental affront to the human rights of parents and would-be parents. The policy damages families and upsets the balance between generations. It is so hated that even within China it is now coming under political attack. For the first time a whole province, Guangdong, with a population of over 100m, is demanding exemptions (see article).
盗抢孩子并不是中国政府独生子女政策的法定组成部分,但却是其恶果之一。这一政策侵犯父母和准父母的基本人权,破坏家庭,打乱代际平衡。人们如此厌恶它,即使在中国国内它也正成为一个政治问题而受到批评。人口过亿的广东省正请求放宽独生子女政策,这在省级层面尚属首次(参见文章)。

A thousand-mile journey begins with a single step
千里之行始于足下

Chinese officials are fiercely attached to the one-child policy. They attribute to it almost every drop in fertility and every averted birth: some 400m more people, they claim, would have been born without it. This is patent nonsense. Chinese fertility was falling for decades before the one-child policy took effect in 1979. Fertility has gone down almost as far and as fast without coercion in neighbouring countries, including those with large Chinese populations. The spread of birth control and a desire for smaller families tend to accompany economic growth and development almost everywhere.
中国官员们不遗余力地严格奉行独生子女政策。生育率有一点下降,出生人数有一点减少,他们都要归功于独生子女政策:他们宣称,要是不实行独生子女政策中国要多生出4亿人。这显然是无稽之谈。中国1979年实行计划生育前,生育率就已持续下降了几十年。中国的邻国,包括那些有大量华人的国家,没有采取过强制措施,生育率下降的速度及程度也和中国差不多。经济增长、社会发展与越来越多的人节制生育、希望家庭规模小些,二者之间通常是相关的,世界各地大体上一样。

But the policy has almost certainly reduced fertility below the level to which it would have fallen anyway. As a result, China has one of the world’s lowest “dependency ratios”, with roughly three economically active adults for each dependent child or old person. It has therefore enjoyed a larger “demographic dividend” (extra growth as a result of the high ratio of workers to dependents) than its neighbours. But the dividend is near to being cashed out. Between 2000 and 2010, the share of the population under 14—future providers for their parents—slumped from 23% to 17%. China now has too few young people, not too many. It has around eight people of working age for every person over 65. By 2050 it will have only 2.2. Japan, the oldest country in the world now, has 2.6. China is getting old before it has got rich.
不过几乎可以肯定的是,若没有独生子女政策,生育率也会下降,但不会下降到如此程度。这样一来,中国成为了全世界“供养比”最低的国家之一,大约每三个具有劳动能力的成人供养一个老人或儿童。因此中国比其邻国享有更为丰厚的“人口红利”(劳动人口与需供养人口之比高可带来额外增长)。但是人口红利正在耗尽。2000至2010年间,14岁以下人口(未来承担父辈养老的人群)占总人口的比重从23%骤降至17%。中国的年轻人不是太多了,而是太少了。目前劳动适龄人口与65岁以上人口之比大约为8比1,到2050年这一数字将只有2.2。现在日本是老龄化最为严重的国家,它的数字是2.6。中国正在走向未富先老。

The policy’s distortions have also contributed to other horrific features of family life, notably the practice of aborting female fetuses to ensure that the lone child is a son. The one-child policy is not the sole cause, as India shows, but it has contributed to it. In 20 years’ time, there will not be enough native brides for about a fifth of today’s baby boys—a store of future trouble. And even had the one-child policy done nothing to reduce births, the endless reiteration of slogans like “one more baby means one more tomb” would have helped to make the sole child a social norm, pushing fertility below the level at which a population reproduces itself. China may find itself stuck with very low fertility for a long time.
独生子女政策的扭曲也带来可怖的家庭悲剧,尤其是那种打掉女胎儿以确保产下独生子的恶习。虽然不能说这全是独生子女政策造成的——印度流产掉女婴的情况也很严重,但它起了推波助澜的作用。今天的男孩子20年后将有五分之一都找不到中国新娘,这是埋在未来的一个隐患。退一步说,就算根本不是独生子女政策导致生育率下降,没完没了反复出现的类似“多生一个娃,多添一座坟”的标语口号也助长了“只生一个孩子”社会规范的形成,推动生育率滑向世代更替水平(实现稳定的人口再生产所必需的生育水平,译注)以下。中国会意识到自己在未来很长时间内都无法摆脱低生育率的阴霾。

Demography is like a supertanker; it takes decades to turn around. It will pose some of China’s biggest problems. The old leadership is wedded to the one-child policy, but the new leadership, which is due to take over next year, can think afresh. It should end this abomination as soon as it takes power.
人口问题就像一艘超级油轮,要掉头,得花上几十年。它给中国带来的将是最棘手的问题。现领导层把独生子女政策奉为圭臬,但是明年接任的新领导层可以从全新的角度思考,换届一完成就应当终结这个令人深恶痛绝的政策。

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重点单词
  • socialadj. 社会的,社交的 n. 社交聚会
  • tendv. 趋向,易于,照料,护理
  • affrontn. 侮辱 vt. 侮辱,冒犯
  • consequencen. 结果,后果
  • dependencyn. 从属;从属物;属国
  • illegaladj. 不合法的,非法的 n. 非法移民
  • confiscatev. 没收,充公,查抄
  • horrificadj. 令人毛骨悚然的,可怖的
  • demographicadj. 人口统计学的
  • demographyn. 人口统计学