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每日跟讀#617: Chinese couples can’t afford a second child


· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English,國際時事跟讀Daily Shadowing

每日跟讀#617: Chinese couples can’t afford a second child

Before her son was born, Chen Huijuan was happy to splash out on skincare products, clothing and socializing with friends. Now, she even hesitates to buy a new dress.


Living in Suzhou in eastern Jiangsu province, Chen earns $730 (5,000 yuan) a month as a high school teacher, while her husband makes $2,500 (16,000 yuan) a month working for the sales department of an American company in neighboring Shanghai.


Raising their 2-year-old, Xiyan, swallows at least a third of the family’s annual income. Comparatively, in the US it costs a similarly positioned family a fifth of their income to raise a child.


Chen’s financial struggle mirrors the difficulties facing millions of other middle-class families across China, and is a major reason why the ruling Communist Party is struggling to boost the country’s birth rate.


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