For more than 30 years, China’s family planning policy has limited the reproduction of its population. Today, the consequences of this policy are becoming increasingly clear. While scholars are calling out for a policy relaxation, the Chinese government continues to demand population control. Stuck between scholars’ encouragements of more children, and the government’s persistent child limitations, what do the coming generation of Chinese parents think of family planning policy? This thesis explores how a small group of Chinese citizens with international experience view the family planning policy and its implications for the future of China’s population. The study focuses on the impact of family planning policy on reproduction levels, as well as age, gender and socioeconomic gaps in China. Although China's family planning policy allows certain citizens to have more than one child, several studies indicate that most young Chinese do not intend to have multiple children. This study argues that a desire to have two or more children is present among this young generation, but their impressions of own economic ability keep them from planning to do so. The participants in this study largely view the family planning policy as a necessary tool to slow population growth, which also coincides with their socioeconomic limitations. In their view, the unequal policy implementation has however led to increased socioeconomic gaps. Although few of the participants believe the policy will be terminated, most believe in a gradual relaxation towards a two-child policy.
These conclusions are drawn from data collected through 11 in-depth interviews with Chinese citizens aged 20 to 30, who studied and/or worked in the city of Oslo during the autumn of 2011. The interview data is compared to various census data and theory on population changes, as well as previous studies on the topic. Thus, this study builds on existing research on Chinese population policy and reproductive preferences, yet offers some new perspectives on the complexity of factors which affect the reproductive decisions of young Chinese today. By comparing these public views with scholarly recommendations and government policy on family planning, this study aims to provide further insight into the population challenges China is currently facing, and thus their possible solutions.