Jiang Fan, deputy head of the National Population and Family Planning Commission, said that the rate of defects among all Chinese infants rose from 104.9 per 10,000 births in 2001 to 145.5 in 2006, affecting nearly one in every 10 Chinese households.
He said that of the 20 million babies born in China every year, 800,000 to 1.2 million of them are afflicted with defects.
As many as 300,000 are 'visible deformities', which means that birth deformities affect up to 6 percent of the children born every year on the Chinese mainland.
"A baby with defects is born every 30 seconds in China, and this situation has worsened year by year," China Daily quoted Fan, as saying.
The statistics show that only 20 to 30 percent of these infants could be cured or treated and about 40 percent suffered lifelong deformities, while the remaining 30 to 40 percent died shortly after birth.
Jiang called for elevated State and public attention to redress the trend, which he said "directly affects China's comprehensive national strength, its international competitiveness, sustainable socio-economic development, as well as the realization of our strategic vision to construct a full-scale well-off society".