The president of Egypt called for measures to reduce the birth rate in the country

FILE PHOTO: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at the Arab League Summit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. May 19, 2023. Bandar Algaloud/Handout via REUTERS (SAUDI ROYAL COURT/)

egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi He called on Tuesday to establish measures to reduce the birth rate, citing the one-child policy imposed in China as an example.

There needs to be 400,000 births a year”, affirmed the Egyptian leader, a country of 105 million inhabitants that in 2022 registered almost 2.2 million births.

Sisi intervened after his Health Minister Khaled Abdel Ghafar stated that “having children is complete freedom.”

I don’t agree with your idea that having children is total freedom. Give freedom to people who may not fully understand the magnitude of this challenge?said Sisi, a military man who became president in 2014 after ousting Islamist leader Mohamed Morsi.

The president affirmed that in the end “it is the entire society and the State of Egypt that are going to pay the price.”

“This freedom must be organized so that there is no catastrophe,” Sisi stated, at a time when The country is going through the worst economic crisis in its history.

“The Chinese made this decision in 1968,” and in 2015, Beijing officially abandoned this one-child policy. “They succeeded in population control.”

Kashgar Old City in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China, September 6, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
Old City of Kashgar in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China, September 6, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Peter (Thomas Peter/)

birth crisis in china

For decades China held the throne of being the country with the largest population in the world and this may respond to the policies applied since 1949 with the founding of the people’s republic by Mao Zedong who had urged his people to have more babies to “strengthen the homeland.”

However, the excessive demographic growth of the country and the famine unleashed by the communist system that was applied in the nation, known as “The Great Leap Forward”which killed more than 30 million people from malnutrition, caused the country’s leaders to employ other measures to prevent the growth of the birth rate.

The Beijing regime implemented the policy of only son, which it turned out to be an accelerator for the country’s falling birth rate. Launched in 1980 to avoid a boom demographic, the program sought to balance population growth, but ended up accelerating the arrival of the opposite result. China abandoned politics in 2016but the birth rate has continued to plummet.

“The rising costs of getting married and raising children, and the restrictive one-child policy” are some of the social phenomena that are affecting population growth in China. “As if to mark the moment, China’s centuries-long reign as the world’s most populous nation will come to an end this year, with India surpassing it and occupying the first position”, pointed out an article published in National Geographic.

China has 1.4 billion people and 153 urban areas, compared to the United States which has 50, that is equivalent to seven times the size of Nigeria, 42 times that of Peru or 140 times Sweden.

However, in the last seven years, the number of births has almost halved, from 18 million in 2016 to 9.6 million in 2022. And worst of all, they warn that the Chinese population will continue to fall by 50 percent or more by 2100, when it could be only half the size of India and comparable in size to Nigeria’s.

Subject matter experts such as sociologist, Wang Feng of the University of California. they ask: “How will an already shrinking workforce support an elderly population that is expected to nearly double over the next quarter century? AND how Beijing will encourage births after suppressing them for more than three and a half decades?”.

“This is an unprecedented historical decline,” says Wang. “By the end of the century, China will be pretty unrecognizable. in terms of what we know about China’s history and position in the world,” he added.