Beijing to retain two-child policy for 20-30 years to control population

By Kou Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2016-1-12 0:33:01

China will stick to its revised family planning policy for another 20 or 30 years to control its large population because the country will face demographic pressure for some time, a senior official said on Monday.

China's population is expected to peak at about 1.45 billion by 2030, and around 1.38 by 2050. The reality is China will always have a large population, thus the country must stick to its family planning policy for another 20 to 30 years, Wang Pei'an, vice minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, told a news conference.

The statement comes amid public speculation that the new two-child policy is merely the beginning of a further relaxation of the decades-old one-child family planning policy.

Experts said that a heavily-populated country like China needs to control its population for the people's sake, but the current family planning policy may see minor changes in the years to come.

"China's demography is dynamic. It changes with time and the current family planning policy may still undergo minor changes in the future," Li Jianmin, a professor on population at Nankai University, told the Global Times.

Meanwhile, China hopes to improve its maternal and child healthcare and has adopted measures to better allocate resources and train more doctors, Wang said.

The government has urged universities and medical schools to train more midwives and pediatricians, and has called for higher salaries to make these occupations more appealing, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

"Children's hospitals in China are  scarce even in major cities, let alone poor and remote areas. The new policy will ensure more medical resources," Li said.

"2016 may see a baby boom thanks to the two-child policy as well as this year's Zodiac animal, monkey, which is prized by the Chinese for its liveliness and intelligence. The government's pledge to improve maternal and child healthcare is quite timely," a Ningxia-based gynecologist who requested anonymity told the Global Times. 

The Beijing Maternity Hospital said on January 4 that it is preparing for an expected baby boom as well as the growing need for prenatal care in 2016, the Beijing Morning Post reported.

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