Social Issues

China allows couples to have a third child

Beijing, May 31 (EFE).- China announced Monday the easing of its family planning measures to allow its citizens to have a third child after census figures published earlier this month showed a decline in the birth rate.

The government made this decision to “help improve China’s population structure, actively respond to the aging population, and preserve the country’s human resource advantages,” state-run news agency Xinhua reported, citing a meeting of the Political Bureau of Communist Party of China Central Committee held on Monday.

According to the census released on May 11, China now has almost 1.412 billion inhabitants although the aging population and the low birth rate have set off alarms in Beijing

In the text released on Monday, the Chinese authorities maintain that the measure will ensure that China is able to achieve “high-quality economic development” while maintaining national security and social stability.

Among the thorniest issues, the authorities cited the young people’s vision of a family and excessive spending on celebrations, dowries and gifts, which Beijing classifies as “bad social habits.”

One of the government’s objectives when it comes to promoting birth rates, the text adds, is to help reduce the families’ spending on education and improve maternity leave.

This new policy also explores solutions to the problem of an aging population such as a delay in the retirement age and the implementation of a series of guarantees for retired workers.

Some ethnic minorities were already allowed to have three children but this provision did not apply to Han, the majority ethnic group in the country, which had led to cases of women being forced to abort by the authorities or large fines for non-compliance, among other situations.

In October 2015, China allowed its citizens to have two children by relaxing the strict and controversial one-child policy that had been in place since 1979 to control the growth encouraged under the first president of the People’s Republic of China, Mao Zedong. EFE


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