Dilemma and Change of China’s Development-orientated Family Policies: On the Basis of the Theoretical Logic of Equality in the Right to Subsistence and the Right to Development
September 28,2016   By:chinahumanrights.org
Zhou Dongsheng (photo: Zhao Yifan)

Dilemma and Change of China’s Development-orientated Family Policies: On the Basis of the Theoretical Logic of Equality in the Right to Subsistence and the Right to Development
Zhou Dongsheng &Wang Shang

Zhou Dongsheng, Professor  of Southwest University of  Political Science and Law
Abstract: Subsistence and development are two fundamental issues for human beings. The so called “new normal”proposed by the Chinese government not only implies notions of steady development, sustained development, innovative development and free development, it also accurately explains the “right to development” with people’s free and all-round development as its core. Along with the process of China’s urbanization and the increasing proportion of urban residents, Chinese families are also undergoing a period characterized by the collapse of traditional family structures and dramatic social transformation. In view ofthis, and focusing on the equality in right to subsistence and right to development, this paper follows reviews the changes in China’s development-oriented family policies, and reconstructed its theoretical logic through delving into imbalance between existing family policy supplies and development-oriented family welfare requirements, as well as the status quo of family policies at home and abroad. In so doing, this paper aims to facilitate the realization of Chinese citizens’rights tosubsistence and development through accurate, dialogue-based, and humanized institutional arrangements. 
Since the traditional family policy institution supply basically pays more attention to citizens’right to subsistence, an imbalance between it and the welfare requirements of development-oriented families in society has been generated, which is specifically reflected in the inappropriate orientation of policies, deviations from policy targets and orientation, absence of stake-holders’participation and the inadequate support offered by policies. This kind of imbalance will inevitably lead to escalated work-family conflicts, a rocketing divorce rate, a lowering sense of happiness, widespread sub-health, a plague ofkaroshi, or even intensified social conflicts. Therefore, striking a balance between citizens’right to subsistence and right to development requires a targeted change and adaptation to development-oriented family policies. Firstly, social gender consciousness should be strengthened, and construction of advanced gender culture be promoted. Secondly, the construction of a family-based legal system should be stepped up. Thirdly, public sectors’ leading role should be given full play to gradually merge family awareness into the social mainstream. Last but not the least, special attention should be given to democratic participation and supervision in order to facilitate the integration of family awareness into the 
mainstream mentality of China. Besides, the objects of the right to development should be optimized in the following two aspects. For one thing, family policies should precisely target at those marginalized population for treatment. For another, universal and diversified supportshould be given to different families with different “development appeals”. Furthermore, the role played by subject of right to development should be highlighted. Firstly, the government should play a more active role in family welfare by establishing a governmental agency exclusively dedicated to family affairs. Secondly, business enterprises need to cultivate an awareness of “helping staff realize a sound balance between work and family responsibilities is one of their social responsibilities”, thus easing the “work-life” conflict and improving work efficiency. Thirdly, the concept of family policies should be introduced in community development in order to supply public family services so that they will become the foundation of family stability and family functioning. Finally, harmony-orientated development should be transformed to guarantee the stability and uniformity of development-oriented family policies, and policies promulgated by different governmental agencies must be properly realigned so that they will become mutually enhancing instead of being isolated from each other. 
Key Words: Work-family; Conflict; Development-oriented Family Policies; Right to Subsistence and Right to Development; Equality
Zhou Dongsheng, Southwest University of Political Science and Law.
Wang Shang, Master student majared in Administrative Management, Southwest University of Political Science and Law.