China stresses two-child policy not yet valid

Beijing, Nov 10 (IANS) The two-child policy of China will be implemented after legislators approve the revision of law to allow all couples to have two children, the country’s top family planning authority said on Tuesday.

China needs to readjust its family planning management, put in place adequate public services, and promote birth monitoring and risk prevention before the new policy comes into effect, Xinhua quoted Wang Peian, deputy head of the National Health and Family Planning Commission as saying.

The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee announced in a proposal on October 29 the scrapping of current one-child policy and adoption of the two-child policy in an attempt to balance population growth and offset the burden of an aging population.

A final plan for the policy change will be ratified by the annual session of China’s top legislature in March.

China’s population is expected to rise from the current 1.368 billion to hit a peak of 1.45 billion in 2029, said Wang, indicating the scale of the preparation needed for these extra births.

The population will slightly drop to 1.38 billion in 2050, Wang added.

China has 140 million women of child-bearing age who have already raised a child, of which 37 percent are allowed to have a second child under the current one-child policy, according to the official.

The two-child policy will mean over 30 million more people in the labour force by 2050 and a two percent decrease in the share of elderly people in the Chinese population, Wang added.

The family planning policy was introduced in late 1970s to rein in the surging population by limiting most urban couples to one child and most rural couples to two children, if the first child born was a girl.

In November 2013, the one-child policy was eased to allow couples to have two children if one of the parents was an only child.

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