29/10/2015 Newsnight


With Emily Maitlis. China's one-child policy ends, there's a search for a Syrian child refugee, the EU vote, free speech on campus and the latest on Kids Company.

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Forced sterilisation, fines and abortion - the world's


longest and most brutal birth control experiment comes to an end.


What has been the consequence of China's one child policy?


And what do our aging populations mean for the world economy?


Finding Azam - the young Syrian boy who


Belgrade vanished. He had a broken jaw and he disappeared. -- we found


this boy in Belgrade and he vanished. Can you? It is in Arabic.


Can you help me look for him? British universities always used to


be about free speech, So why have our campuses become


so quick to censor? We ask the Leeds University Union


affairs officer Good evening. China's one child


policy is estimated to have Put like that,


you start to get a sense of the effect it has had on the country


over the last three decades. Two generations with no cousins,


no aunts no uncles, China,


which once strove to control the - is now trying to do precisely


the opposite, and make it grow. Meets three products of China's one


child policy. When I was a child, sometimes I felt a bit lonely. I am


happy with my family because they only have one child. They took care


of me well. I would prefer to have an older brother or a younger


sister. Sometimes in my childhood, I felt lonely. Peking has decreed a


simple but drastic remedy. Every couple should have only one child.


That policy had serious consequences. Not least because


people often felt incentivised to make sure that they are one child


was a boy. With one child, you get considerable privileges. When people


can only have one child, and this is true around the world, not just


China, and they have the technology to choose between having a boy or a


girl, through scanning and other technology, and aborting foetuses is


legal, as it is in China, and the incentives to another point or


greater, status and income, the prospects are greater for boys. When


the policy was first introduced, China was very poor. The country's


leadership feared that they would be ruined by overpopulation. 35 years


later, a lot has changed. After an economic boom, there is a new fear


that there are not enough young people and China will become old


before it becomes rich. This is what democracy is called China's


population pyramid in 1980. As the one child rule came into force. It


shows the percentage of the population at various ages. 35 years


ago, China had lots of young people, too many for the authorities. Fast


forward to now and there are fewer children and the pyramid bulges in


the middle. The fear is that as they retire, there will not be enough


workers to support them. At first, the policy was strictly enforced but


it has been relaxed as the policy was strictly enforced but


changed. Before today, the policy was strictly enforced but


many exemptions it only covered around one in three people. At the


beginning it was very significant. Most people lived in the


and demographic growth was higher. Economic incentives to


and demographic growth was higher. fertility were not there.


and demographic growth was higher. effect has been decreasing over time


and there has been more exemptions. That has been one factor. As women


have got educated, as the cost of living in urban areas has gone up, a


small apartment costing a living in urban areas has gone up, a


money, Skilling costs going up, the incentives have gone down. China's


neighbours have lower fertility rates. China is publicly grappling


with the economic fallout of demographic change. Less publicly,


so is the wider world. This graph shows the percentage of the global


population of working age. Starting in the 1970s, it rose sharply as the


baby boomers entered the workforce and declining fertility rates meant


fewer children. For decades, there were more workers and fewer


dependents. But now people live longer and the working age share it


looks to have peaked. It has started to fall globally. And the World Bank


think that fall will last for decades. Demographic changes mean


more workers and the end of the Cold War turbo-charged this trend. For


four decades, the supply of workers has been plentiful. Economists have


spoken about a global glut of labour. One consequence of that has


been a multi decade slowdown in the rate of wage growth. But if the


demographics have turned, and oversupply is coming to an end, then


existing workers should have more bargaining power. We might expect


wage growth to pick up. But how do we pay for longer retirement with


fewer workers? Demographics are hard to shift. How do you stop second


babies being born? China's Communist party changed the world once and now


it has done it again. But even it cannot order a baby boomer. What


chance it gets its way? I would like to have more than one child. Two or


three is most suitable. I would prefer to have to. A girl and a boy.


I have not put too much thought into the question. I would prefer two, a


boy and a girl. That is my expectation. Duncan Weldon with that


report. With us now George Magnus,


who has written a book on this subject, and joins us


from Canada and anthropologist Anni Kajanus, who's lived in China


and studied the cultural impact Thank you for coming in. Starting


with you, Anni, will this radically change what's China looks like in


the future? I don't think so. I think where this policy change is


going to have the biggest impact is in urban areas. Where it has been


more strictly monitored, the policy. I not think that it will result in a


significant demographic change although it may result in a


short-term baby boomer. What has been the main cultural impact of the


last few decades? Out of China, we have heard the horror stories of


forced sterilisation, abortion, the gender imbalance. Is that true on


the ground? Is that what has been happening? To some extent, yes.


Especially in the underdeveloped areas, the policy has met resistance


because parents rely on their sons primarily to take care of them in


old age. And so there is a strong preference for sons, and there has


been. In some rural areas, the policy has been strictly unfermented


but in most of the areas, people are able to have three children, at


least one son. In urban areas, where the single child is the norm, it has


had a huge impact on the Chinese family. And on women's position, and


the position of doctors in Chinese families. There has been a drastic


increase on families investing in their daughters' futures. Sons and


daughters, they grow up with family support. And pressure! This is like


at gigantic experiment, the like of which the world has never seen. This


is uncharted territory in terms of what happens next. It is. It has


certainly been an experiment. The only one that we are aware of where


the state has actually interfered in the reproductive habits of its


citizens. Although to be fair, for the last three or four years, things


have been relaxed gradually. But even the relaxation of the one child


policy, until today, or until the formal abandonment, it has not been


effective. Two years ago, China was relaxing the policy so that if you


were, as a parent, the product of a 1 child family, you were allowed to


have two children and they expected 11 million households would be


eligible to take advantage of this relaxation. Of these 11 million


households, they thought that 2 million might apply to have a second


child but barely half actually did. And as far as we can tell, not even


that many actually have done. So the issue about controlling the


population through this policy was not a particularly good policy and


it did not really work. Abandoning it will not have much of fact, I


agree with your other guest. So what happens? What happens in terms of


the problem they have got with the ageing population. Not unlike many


of its neighbours and countries in Europe, but if this does not work,


what happens? Well, China has exactly the same problem in managing


this issue as we did in the United Kingdom and in the West. They have


to develop coping mechanisms, we all do, to deal with the labour supply


problem. This is unique in human history. We have this combination of


weak fertility, low fertility, and very long increases in life


expectancies. That is squeezing the working age population. So how do


you deal with that? Immigration is one way to deal with it but the


Chinese do not have much immigration. You can have laws that


make it more possible for women and older workers to work for longer,


and raise the retirement age. Or maybe you start paying people to


have bigger families? I wonder, Anni, turning to those two points,


immigration, we have not seen China turn to immigration in a big way.


Could that starts to happen now? And secondly, the propaganda involved in


telling people that they were better off, doing more for China, for the


motherland, by having one child. How do you reverse that mindset? I don't


think it will be reversible. This process in China happened in a very


radical way but this is basically a demographic transition that has


happened in other countries also. Once the standard of living rises


and women's educational level rises, people tend to have fewer


children. This will not change. In urban families, the current young


parents are already the generation who were an only child. So they have


had this support from their families, and also the pressure. In


my experience, in my research, I find that parents want to go easy on


the child, but to put so much pressure on the child. To just have


one child, or a maximum of two. They want to be able to really support


the child. George Magnus, do you think that it will turn to


immigration now? Is it something that will be on the cards for China


or do you think they will have two incentivise people, and more


importantly, is this a political gesture to the outside world, as


opposed to a domestic strategy? I don't think it is a political


gesture. I think this is recognition of, the culmination of a series of


easing measures on policy. And the formal abandonment now means that


China actually has two address head-on the issue of a shrinking


working age population, which will happen in the foreseeable future.


Incentives to make people have children, we know that empirically,


in Russia, Spain, France, and many other countries, cash incentives


have been given to women to have more children and it has not worked.


Economic development is the best contraceptive of all. What happens,


partly in China because of the cost of education and health care, it is


a big constraint. But as people get better off, and parents go out to


work, it is difficult to switch people's reproductive habits. I do


not think this policy working. Immigration is not something the


Chinese will embrace, I think. But in other countries like the United


Kingdom, it is having a significant effect. Thank you both.


Some tragedies are so enormous you can't grip them.


The war in Syria and the exodus of refugees caused


The story of Azam is about the fate of one small boy from Damascus.


John Sweeney met him in Serbia in pain with a broken jaw.


Then he and the man with him vanished


Social media clamoured for Azam to be found and,


for Newsnight, John travelled 1,500 miles on the refugee trail in what


I am searching for one small boy from Damascus inside a pipeline of


humanity. A quarter of a million people have passed through this


reception centre in Serbia this month, most of them running from the


war in Syria. I've got a strange thing. Who speaks English? You speak


some? I was here a month ago and we found this boy in Belgrade and then


he vanished. He had a broken jaw and he disappeared. It's in Arabic. Can


you help me look for him? The boy I am looking for is Azam


Aldahan and I met him last month. Finding Azam seems virtually


impossible. Maybe it is worth a try, giving pieces of paper out. Azam had


been run over in Macedonia, or so this man said.


Azam mother was in Turkey, so where was his dad? They are travelling in


a group of 13 men. It looks like he has broken his jaw... The next day


in Belgrade, I met Azam again. He was alone, clearly in pain, and his


wound looked infected. Doctor Radmila Kosic was running a


makeshift clinic for the refugees. It's all right, son, it's OK. We


will just clean the wound and send him in an ambulance to the hospital.


Where is his father? He was here a minute ago. Our interpreter had a


quiet word with Azam. The little boy has told us he is not with his


father. His father is still in Turkey so he is going to hospital on


his own. It seems he is travelling with uncles or something, but for


the moment his uncle has gone. He is on his own. Finally, the man who


told us he was his father returned. Our translator was worried, and


questioned the man. Whoever the man is, he didn't want to hang around in


Serbia. But Azam and the man did get in the ambulance and went to


hospital. Foot weeks, no news of Azam, but finally the medical


authorities told us, before Azam could get the treatment he urgently


needed, Azam and the man had vanished. That should never have


happened, says doctor Kosic. The child could have serious injuries


after that traffic accident, I was told, so he should be in the


hospital, not on the road. He might have serious infections and some


concussion, brain concussion or something. He should not be on the


road. He should be in hospital. So not that much joy in Belgrade. Time


to rejoin the refugee track. Since Azam passed through Serbia in


September, it has moved 100 miles west. The people running from one


well have ended up in another, a town where Serbia stops and Croatia


begins. Croatia is over there. About 1000 people are waiting. Here is the


bad news. They are expecting 10,000 more tonight.


And yet, even here, the wretched of the Earth have time to help with the


search for Azam. The police here aren't exactly welcoming, but these


people are running from killing. We Europeans may boast about our


political stability but, in this very part of the world 24 years ago,


I witnessed Serbs and Croats running and killing each other. Night falls


and everything becomes grim, remote than before. The urge to sleep, but


they need to get on. -- more grim than before. The dawn mist cloaks


the hillside. Turning the apple orchards and cornfields by the


border crossing into a ghost world. In the fog from war, children go


missing. Some kids just wander off, only to reappear a short while


later. But stories swirl air and online, pointing to something more


sinister. Holding a child, I noticed, get you across the border


faster. Some kids who got lost have not been found. The cold makes your


bones creak. This family from Damascus light a fire to make


coffee. We are looking for a boy. 10,000 people are waiting. The


Croats allow batches of 50 to cross at any one time. The result, the cue


from hell. If you are disabled, you get fast tracked, just like at


Heathrow. Well, not quite. It's wet. I was rubbish at this at


school, and I still am. It's up. We had a tip-off that Azam had ended


up in Munich. Here, refugees find not poisoned gas and severed heads


at a world of grey, the drizzle of the human soul. This is a German


refugee camp and, for some at least, the end of the long road. It is for


us, too. The German Red Cross have told us, you are not family so,


according to our rules, we can't help you. We've tried but, so far,


we've failed to find Azam. Our brilliant friends at BBC Arabic


had been looking on Facebook, and they've found Azam's uncle. We


checked out his friends, and there he is, in Germany tonight. In the


photograph, red flowers, purple flowers. In the background, sports


shop. In the windows of the shop, the windows of the building


opposite, reflected. Circle windows, square windows. Azam's uncle sat in


this chair. Finding the man in the chair wasn't that simple. The uncle


got back to us via Facebook. We travelled the length of journey to


meet him, only to discover he'd switched his phone off. So we drove


around in circles and I feared I would never meet Azam again, until


this... If you are the uncle, why didn't you


say you were the uncle when you first met us?


What was the name of the doctor in Belgrade who said that it was fine


for Azam, with a broken jaw, to go on the road to Germany?


Where is Azam's mother and father now?


The good news? We've just learned that Azam's mum and dad have made it


to Germany, and we hope to speak to them soon. There's no sign of the


war in Syria ending but, in all this darkness, the story of Azam, once so


full of pain... Good to see you, Azam. Now, a point of light. Amazing


to find a story with a happy ending. Azam's tale has been -


one way or another - the story The progress and the struggle


of thousands of migrants across the borders have been images


that will leave their imprint And perhaps that explains why -


politically - there may be a new urgency to


resolve the bigger question of Britain's place in the European


Union sooner rather than later. What are you hearing? Well, I think


actually the images of last summer's migrant crisis is playing


on both camps in the EU referendum campaign. For the out campaign, over


the summer, they felt it was definitely starting to tip public


opinion on their way. I have spoken to people in the in campaign for


that reason who don't want the to people in the in campaign for


referendum to be staged anywhere near next summer, which they think


will have another migrant problem. There is a pitch from people around


the Chancellor, for instance, let's get this done really quickly and not


have it dominate the parliament. Many Eurosceptics think the


government has ruled out going quickly with a snap referendum. We


have been shown evidence that there is no ruling out of that. It is


possible they could go as soon as April. I don't think that is


likely, for several reasons. The April. I don't think that is


last of which is probably the migrant crisis point, which we will


come onto. migrant crisis point, which we will


probably have another row in the migrant crisis point, which we will


probably more unpopularity by saying migrant crisis point, which we will


that extreme -year-olds should be allowed to vote, and the House of


Commons allowed to vote, and the House of


16-year-old. They don't know what David Cameron wants in the


renegotiation package. You then come back to this issue about,


renegotiation package. You then come want it that window of the next


migrant crisis? I think, want it that window of the next


least a year away for the referendum.


have started banning those they believe


Last week, Cardiff University students signed a petition to try to


stop Germaine Greer from speaking at an event because of her


She pulled out - telling Newsnight she felt too old


Other commentators and writers have been banned


by other student bodies which have decreed their views problematic.


So are today's students more censorious -


or more sophisticated about where the level of tolerance should begin?


A rare victory for free speech in student politics, according to some.


Next month, Wikileaks's controversial founder


Julian Assange is to appear at the Cambridge Debating Society.


The decision, which followed a referendum,


triggered the resignation of the society's women's officer.


The comedian known as Dapper Laughs was not so lucky.


His planned show at Cardiff Student Union last year was


cancelled following a petition signed by 700 students.


Some student unions refuse to sell the Sun newspaper because


of the potential for Page 3 models to cause offence.


Even sombreros worn by restaurant staff advertising


at a freshers' fair in Norwich were branded discriminatory with their


It's all something of a far cry from the open-minded spirit


of the 1960s, where difference and conflict was seen as something


Here to discuss this are Toke Dahler from Leeds University Student Union,


and the Times columnist David Aaronovitch.


His Onto canvas? -- campus. Whenever society want to put on an event,


they ask us if there is any particular risk or any reason to


think that students would feel threatened or unsafe by inviting


certain speakers, and we make a decision based on that assessment.


What does that threat in tail? It is up to the students because we are a


student union. Our primary most important task is to make sure that


students feel safe and welcoming our building. Does that sound alien,


David? It does because you could argue that one of the major


responsibilities of a student union is to make sure that there is lively


debate and discussion, that students are a part of democratic society,


discussing things, rather than hermetically sealed away signed a


form of intellectual rampart within which they can feel safe. The


problem with what Toke is saying is that it is a problem of definition.


And feel safe and what do they feel safer from? We know that in recent


cases including the Muslim activist, who is now anti-religious,


and it was attempted to get banned from Warwick University. They filled


in a risk assessment and someone had said that she said terrible things


in the past so people would not feel safer ranter and consequently she


and her invitation withdrawn. The same thing with Jermaine Greer. The


attempt was made to make her not speak at Cardiff because apparently


transgender students might feel offended or unsafe. What does it


mean for students to feel unsafe? Does it mean they can never be


offended by a speaker? I am very interested in this, who has the


right to define it? Who knows what feeling unsafe feels like? Not long


ago a woman came to me and said that she had experienced two hate


crimes, racially motivated hate crimes. She came to me and said, I


would not feel safe if you invited the people from the same groups to


the University union. I think that definition of feeling unsafe is


better than your definition. Why? A student union is for students. It is


our right to decide who comes in the building. It is the right of the


students, not a Times columnist. I completely understand but that was


not the point you were making. The point you were making was that


somehow the judgment would be better about whether or not this person was


some kind of risk. When this person comes to you, do you say to this


person, what is the nature of the risk, somebody speaking, what would


that represent? Let's look at what you think that is. Or do you take it


on trust? Black students experience racism. They do not need to go to


the student union to do that. We do not need to confront women with


misogyny in the student union. We do not need to confront Jewish students


with anti-Semitism. The student union is a place where students can


gather and debate, but not a place where people should come and feel


that... The question, there is a possibility that we are the


dinosaurs here, and actually... It is a downright certainty in my case!


This generation of students has said that we do not need to invite


racists on. We do not need to invite in people who think that women are


inferior, we are more diverse and it will add nothing to the debate. Is


that wrong? It is, partially because there is not a settled view about


who these people are in any case. Jermaine Greer does not fit these


categories. Would you have banded Jermaine Greer? I would find it


highly inappropriate and highly offensive to invite a person who


does not think that transgender people are real people to


transgender awareness week. You would not want somebody expressing


that? Let's take it back. You would find it highly offensive to invite


someone who did not think that trans-people were real people.


Germaine Greer's argument, whether you accept it or not is that a


transgender male to female is not a real woman. That is her view. Do you


think that is a legitimate view for someone to express in front of


students? I am sure that if she was invited to Leeds University union,


that the students who identified as transgender would say that this was


not who we want in our building. If they can convince the rest of the


student body, who have democratically voted for our


policy... Would they convince you? They have voted for officers like


myself who believe in this platform. Have you had anyone that your


students did not feel safe with? Now, and this is probably one of the


biggest misconceptions. People think we banned this, that and the other.


But have you had people who have caused offence? Naturally. Of


course. Just this week we had debates on counterterrorism


strategies and whether we should stay in the EU, on the composition


of the curriculum, with even extreme views expressed. So what is not


allowed? Because I struggle to see why you would want students to be


cosseted from views they do not like. This is not about people being


safe from views that they do not like. This is about being


traumatised. How would Germaine Greer speaking traumatised people?


People who were not already traumatised. In what way can you


protect them from the outside world that banning Germaine Greer helps


you with? This is the upside of protecting people from the outside


world. This is realising that people get traumatised on the outside world


and the student union should be a safe space where people do not


go... Suppose the free-speech society comes to me and I am new and


they say, this guy, he makes me feel unsafe with his desire to stop


people speaking freely and I do not feel safe around him. Can you stop


them? What should I do? You should Askey the fellow students. And if


they say yes, I should ban you? If you get a petition saying that I am


traumatising people, I would step down. Do you not worry, Toke, that


your students are having a poor experience in the life than if they


just said, we are going to take all of these people and we are going to


ask them controversial questions, we might take them but we will listen


to them? Students are challenged their lives. A study with people


from different nationalities, they debate all kinds of things. I will


challenge you to find a group people who get a wider range of views and


who are confronted with more different experiences, wider range


of experiences that students. In the case, why would you stop them


reading the Sun, for instance? Why would you not sell it if that was


what they wanted to buy. Why not allow speakers in that they want to


invite. If they saw Paul... Open and able to debate, why do that? The


questionnaires, if you have a racist society, why let your student union


be racist as well. -- not in my union. Thank you for


In their own words, the charity Kids Company used political lobbying,


media briefing, arm twisting and a "bully strategy" to secure more than


Talk us through that. Before us what was said today.


Talk us through that. Before we knew that recently


Talk us through that. Before had been given ?3


Talk us through that. Before Cabinet Office, days before it


collapsed, against the advice of civil servants.


collapsed, against the advice of reveals is that actually it was not


the reveals is that actually it was not


that officials had advised ministers reveals is that actually it was not


ministers felt they down to the bully strategy. The


charity would come to a department and say, if we collapse, this will


be terrible, particularly in South London. And they used this


be terrible, particularly in South them self? Bully strategy is a


phrase that the Chief Executive of the charity, Camila Batmanghelidjh,


used about her approach in 2002. Effectively, they say to ministers


that it will be really bad and their friends in the press would find out


about it. The fact that the charity was very well connected, with Alan


Yentob as its chair of trustees, that did not help. They sent out


tentacles. So where does this go now? The big thing is that the story


is moving now? The big thing is that the story


minister who signed on to that, but actually the report gives them help


because what it says is that it is not just them, they are not the only


ones not just them, they are not the only


to give money to this charity. It happened again and again, all the


way back to 2002 and actually they asked Camila Batmanghelidjh to step


down from the charity. Unusually, they can say when questioned in


front of the Select they can say when questioned in


money, but at least we were trying around. We did not just give it to


them for nothing. Thank you very much. More on that tomorrow but that


is all we have time for tonight. From all of us here, good night.


is all we have time for tonight. From all of us here, good night.


Good evening. Plenty of rain in the forecast for the start of Friday,


particularly across England and Wales. A lot of surface water and


spray. The eastern side of England should dry and brighten up, becoming




In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Emily Maitlis.

China's one-child policy ends, there's a search for a Syrian child refugee, the EU vote, free speech on campus and the latest on Kids Company.

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