CFR: China’s Population Policy—An Exchange Between Edwin Winckler and Yanzhong Huang


Dr. Yanzhong Huang is Senior Fellow for Global Health and the newest writer for Asia Unbound. His first post, “Time for China to Abandon Its Population Control Policy,” attracted significant attention, including a thoughtful response from Edwin A. Winckler, a Senior Research Scholar at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University. Here we have posted both Dr. Winckler’s commentary and a new response from Dr. Huang. We hope you enjoy their discussion.

Elizabeth Economy, C.V. Starr Senior Fellow and Director for Asia Studies

Time for China to ADJUST Its Reproductive Policies By Edwin A. Winckler

As someone who in the early 2000s actively researched PRC birth planning, I found the recent post by the fine scholar Professor Yanzhong Huang a little disappointing. Relative to my experience and research, his main points are basically correct, but imprecise in some details, in ways that obscure important potential lessons, not only about PRC population policy in particular but also about PRC governance in general. Probably in many cases Professor Huang knows better and would be more precise in a longer presentation. However, as presented, his post misses an opportunity to correct what I consider misunderstandings of current PRC birth policy that repeatedly arise in media reporting and American discussion. Moreover, he flatly asserts interpretations that deserve further research as questions, not apparently settled conclusions. This post raises some of those questions. (I personally am no longer actively researching PRC birth policy, but I did discuss some of these issues with various kinds of PRC scholars during a June 2012 visit to Beijing .) READ MORE.