China: Birth limits still needed despite easing

November 19, 2013 by Gillian Wong
In this photo taken Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, a toddler is lifted by two women as they stroll in Beijing, China. China has no intention of abandoning family planning controls soon despite announcing it would ease the one-child policy, a government spokesman said Tuesday, Nov.19, 2013 adding that the policy could be loosened further in the future. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

China has no intention of abandoning family planning controls soon despite announcing it would ease the one-child policy, a government spokesman said Tuesday, adding that the policy could be loosened further in the future.

Keeping China's low remains a long-term priority for the country's development, National Health and Family Planning Commission Spokesman Mao Qunan told foreign reporters during a briefing in Beijing.

"Family planning work, not just in the past, but even now with the adjustment of the policy, is a national policy for China," Mao said. "The control of population and keeping a low fertility rate is a long term mission."

The Communist Party announced Friday that it would allow couples to have two children if one of the parents is a single child. Previously, both parents had to be an only child to qualify for this exemption. Rural couples also are allowed two children if their first-born child is a girl.

The spokesman said each province will roll out the new exception in its own timeframe depending on its own conditions. Experts estimate around 1 million extra births per year would occur in the first few years, on top of the 16 million babies born annually in China.

The government credits the one-child policy with preventing hundreds of millions of births and helping lift countless families out of poverty by easing the strain on the country's limited resources.

But the abrupt fall in the birth rate is pushing up average age of the population of 1.3 billion people and demographers foresee a looming crisis because the policy reduced the young labor pool that must support the large baby boom generation as it retires.

Asked if or when China would do away with family planning controls altogether, Mao said the policy would continue to be "adjusted and improved" but "as to when every family might be able to totally return to a natural state, I cannot predict this."

Mao says he expected the central government to continue to tinker with family planning controls according to population changes and public demands.

Explore further: China performed 330 mn abortions since 1971: data

Related Stories

China performed 330 mn abortions since 1971: data

March 16, 2013
Nearly 330 million abortions have been performed in China in the 40 years since it first implemented measures to limit population growth in the world's most populous nation, official data showed.

UN wants better family planning

January 24, 2013
(AP)—The U.N.'s top population official wants governments to do more to ensure that women have access to family planning.

Research finds family policies benefit childbearing and work, not child development

September 23, 2013
A new study from Western University reveals that Quebec's family policies promote childbearing and paid work, but do not strengthen child development as well as corresponding policies from the rest of Canada.

Assisted reproduction and family development: The new parents study

November 4, 2013
Alice Winstanley and Kate Ellis-Davies, are researchers in the Applied Developmental Psychology Research Group working on The New Parents Study, a ground-breaking international project lead by Professor Michael Lamb and Professor ...

Recommended for you

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

Teens likely to crave junk food after watching TV ads

January 15, 2018
Teenagers who watch more than three hours of commercial TV a day are more likely to eat hundreds of extra junk food snacks, according to a report by Cancer Research UK.

Can muesli help against arthritis?

January 15, 2018
It is well known that healthy eating increases a general sense of wellbeing. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that a fibre-rich diet can have a positive influence ...

Your dishwasher is not as sterile as you think

January 13, 2018
(HealthDay)—Your dishwasher may get those plates spotless, but it is also probably teeming with bacteria and fungus, a new study suggests.

Study reveals what sleep talkers have to say

January 12, 2018
A team of researchers with members from several institutions in France has conducted a study regarding sleep talking and has found that most sleep talking is not only negative in nature, but involves a large amount of swearing. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.