As the world's human population approaches seven billion, demographers have attacked Chinese claims that its family planning policies delayed this landmark by five years. From The Associated Press:
"I think many people like to have these simple large numbers that are easy to recognize, and impressive, but unfortunately it's baseless, it's unscientific," said Wang [Feng, director of Brookings-Tsinghua Center for Public Policy]. "The Chinese government likes to use this as a way to support, to justify the continued implementation of the one-child policy, which is long outdated."
The scholars say that China's biggest drop in fertility came from 1970-79 before the one-child policy was introduced and that the reductions since then have been largely due to economic and social reforms that make small families more attractive ….
"Thailand and China have had almost identical fertility trajectories since the mid 1980s," he said. "Thailand does not have a one-child policy."
See also Jonathan Watts' excellent 'Parents Benefit From One-Child Policy – If They Follow the Rules', on China's immensely complicated and costly family planning system, via CDT.