China to allow couples to have three children to boost birthrate

A child waves the Chinese flag during the Olympic Games in Beijing. 10 August 2008.                     Image DPA  PA Images

She explained why the country, which once propagated one-child policy is moving towards three-child policy.

For nearly 40 years, China enforced a controversial "one-child policy" - one of the strictest family planning regulations worldwide - which was relaxed in 2016 to a "two-child policy" due to widespread concerns over an ageing workforce and economic stagnation.

In 2016, the CCP scrapped its decades-old one-child policy-initially imposed to halt a population explosion-with a two-child limit, which failed to result in a sustained surge in births.

China is the first country in the world to enact a stringent law regarding population control - the one-child policy in 1979.

Despite concerns about demographic imbalance, Chinese leaders hesitated to simply abolish the one-child policy.

Chinese authorities have long hailed the policy as a success, claiming that it helped the country avert severe food and water shortages by preventing up to 40 crore people from being born.

The supposed benefits of the policy have also been questioned.

"A fully liberalised birth policy should have been implemented at least five years ago, but it's too late now, although its better late than never", he said.

Instead, since 2013, they loosened the single child rule and allowed couples where one was an only child to have a second offspring.

B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases continue decline, with 250
A total of 137,517 people are considered fully recovered from COVID-19, representing 96 per cent of all recorded cases. But he said the success of the rollout will depend on the province's progress to reduce COVID-19 infection rates.

Also on Monday, the politburo said it would phase-in delays in the country's retirement ages but did not provide any details. Bloomberg Economics estimates the slowdown in population growth means the world's most populous country could peak before 2025. India's population, for instance, will start ageing from the middle of this century onwards.

China will allow all couples to have a third child in a bid to arrest the shrinking birthrate and aging population that are risks to the country's long-term economic prospects.

China's population now stands at approximately 1.41 billion, according to the country's latest census.

Despite government efforts to encourage couples to have children, China's annual births have continued to plummet to a record low of 12 million in 2020, the National Bureau of Statistics said last month.

Even if China's population didn't decline in 2020, the expert said, "It will in 2021 or 2022, or very soon".

According to a 2005 report by a state think-tank, it cost 490,000 yuan ($AU99,532) for an ordinary family in China to raise a child.

Experts say relaxing limits on reproductive rights alone can not go a long way in averting an unwanted demographic shift.

A spike in births following the previous relaxation to allow most families to have two children was short-lived, with many parents citing the high costs of housing and education as a limiting factor.

And for a younger generation of women with changing priorities amid the unrelenting pressures of urban life in China, there remains a widespread aversion to having children.

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