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China To Relax One-Child Policy Rule: Report

by VR Sreeraman on  July 26, 2009 at 10:38 AM General Health News   - G J E 4
Shanghai is to encourage some families to have two children as China takes steps to relax its strict one-child policy in response to the ageing population, state press reported Friday.
 China To Relax One-Child Policy Rule: Report
China To Relax One-Child Policy Rule: Report
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Urban couples in China's most populous city will be urged to have two children if the husband and wife are themselves only children, the China Daily said.

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"We advocate eligible couples to have two kids because it can help reduce the proportion of the ageing people and alleviate a workforce shortage in the future," the paper quoted Shanghai family planning director Xie Lingli as saying.

Family planning centres are handing out leaflets to encourage eligible couples to have a second child and will offer family and financial counselling for those taking up the offer, it said.

People over 60 make up 22 percent of the city's total population, a number that is expected to grow to 34 percent in 2020, the paper said.

A similar situation in most Chinese cities has recently prompted the government to relax the "one-child" family planning policy in urban areas for those couples coming from one-child families, the paper said.

Rural couples have long been allowed two children if the first child is a girl, while China's ethnic minorities have largely been exempted from the family planning policies.

China's "one-child" policy, first implemented in 1979, has resulted in 400 million fewer births, according to the government. At more than 1.3 billion people, China has the world's largest population.

Source: AFP
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