China will allow couples to have up to three children. Amid concerns the number of working-age people in the world’s most populous country is declining too quickly. State media reported on Monday.
Xinhua news agency reported that the changes were approved during the Communist Party’s Politburo meeting chaired by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The news comes after census data showing China’s working-age population has declined over the past decade. As the number of people aged 65 and over has increased, tensions have been raised on the economy and society. Experts warn that growth is the slowest in decades. and could pose a major threat to China̵7;s ambitious economic goals.
“The birth policy will be improved. A policy that allows husbands and wives to have three children will be implemented along with support measures. This will help improve China’s population structure,” Xinhua reported.
The Communist Party has been enforcing birth restrictions since 1980 to limit population growth. And the dwindling population is partly a result of the controversial one-child policy introduced in 1979. Couples who fail to comply with family planning laws face unemployment and fines. In some cases, mothers are forced to have abortions. cubs or sterilization
various restrictions It eased in 2015 after calls for a change in the one-child policy. Amid slowing economic growth and warnings of potential economic problems posed by an aging population, Families are permitted to have two children per family.
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However, policy liberalization failed to revive the country’s declining birth rate. The 2020 census revealed that mothers gave birth to 12 million babies last year, down from 14.65 million in 2019, an 18 percent year-on-year decline. As a result, Chinese descent continued to be low for nearly six decades.
meanwhile The number of elderly people also rose to 18.7 percent of the total, up from 13.26 percent in the last decade and about 10 percent in 2000.
Some experts have warned that the government’s proposal could fail. Because the reason behind China’s declining birth rate can’t be understood.
“People are not limited by the limit of two children. But at the incredibly high cost of raising children in China today,” Yifei Li, a sociologist at NYU Shanghai, told Reuters. “Effective policies should provide greater social support and welfare. Raising that limit is unlikely to skew anyone’s calculus in any meaningful way.”
Standard Chartered Bank chief economist Shuang Ding said the government should allow families to choose how many children they want without any restrictions.
“The free maternity policy should have been implemented at least five years ago, but it’s too late now. It is better late than never,” he told Reuters.
Numerous comments on Chinese social media platform Weibo echo these messages.
“It’s not a question of how many children you will have. It begs the question of whether childcare costs can be reduced,” one user wrote.
related news agencies, Vincent Wan and Reuters contribute