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China Considering Changes To ‘One-Child’ Family Planning Policy

Chinese officials are considering changing the country’s so-called “one-child policy,” according to a former family planning official, “with government advisory bodies drafting proposals in the face of a rapidly aging society in the world’s most populous nation,” Reuters reports. “Proposed changes would allow for urban couples to have a second child, even if one of the parents is themselves not an only child, the China Daily cited Zhang Weiqing, the former head of the National Population and Family Planning Commission, as saying on Wednesday,” according to Reuters, which adds, “Zhang said the commission and other population research institutes have submitted policy recommendations to the government.”

“Under current rules, urban couples are permitted a second child if both parents do not have siblings. Looser restrictions on rural couples means many have more than one child,” Reuters notes. “Population scholars have cited mounting demographic challenges in their calls for reform of the strict policy, introduced in 1979 to limit births in China, which now has 1.34 billion people,” the news service writes. “A growing number of experts expect a change to the policy, partly because of the demographic imbalances it is causing,” according to Reuters, which adds, “The relaxed policy might be implemented first in ‘economically productive regions’ and places that have followed closely existing regulations, [China Daily] said” (Martina/Li, 11/28).  

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.