Chinese Health Commission Spokesperson Lowers Expectations For Change To Family Planning Policy

China’s “health commission has attempted to tamp down expectations for a relaxation of the one-child policy, after a policy paper and media reports excited hopes for change,” the South China Morning Post reports. “National Health and Family Planning Commission spokesman Mao Qunan told the Beijing Morning Post that the commission was not necessarily referring to the number of children a couple can have when it alluded to policy changes in an action plan released on Tuesday,” the newspaper writes. Mao said, “It is incorrect to interpret ‘improving the family-planning policy’ as a renewed sign of relaxing the policy to allow for a second child. … Whether to allow couples to have two children … is a different matter from the family-planning policy revision,” according to the newspaper, which added, “Mao said Beijing needed to make long-term family planning a fundamental national policy, which he conceded would be a major task of the newly formed health commission.” According to the Morning Post, “Some mainland population experts expressed surprise at the spokesman’s remarks,” and the article includes comments from two population experts (He, 8/8).