China's draft code hints at end to family planning

By Zhao Yusha Source:Global Times Published: 2018/8/28 22:28:41

Demographers weigh incentives to address declining birthrates

The removal of contents related to family planning policy in a draft civil code is the latest official signal from China that it may soon scrap the policy, as the country's demographic structure undergoes fundamental changes, demographers noted on Tuesday.

Considering the changes in the country's demographic situation, provisions related to family planning in current laws are not included in a draft civil code, which was presented to a bimonthly session of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, expected to run till Friday, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The revised draft will be submitted to the plenary session of the NPC in March 2020, according to Shen Chunyao, head of the Legislative Affairs Commission under the NPC Standing Committee.

This signals that China may scrap childbirth limits, said Zhan Zhongle, a law professor at Peking University.

Limiting childbirth is a historic decision which worked out well for a certain historical period, but is now outmoded, Zhan  told the Global Times.

In July, China's National Health Commission put together experts to evaluate the effect of incentives for improving fertility, news site reported. The study will likely be completed by the end of the year, according to the Shanghai-based news portal.

Although not confirmed by the commission at press time, demographers interviewed by the Global Times in July said they believed China may introduce incentives for families next year, if not sooner, to counter plunging birthrates.

Boosting childbirth is not a goal that can be accomplished simply through changes in policy, Ma Li, former head of the Beijing-based China Population and Development Research Center, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

"The idea of having a child to support one's old age is no longer predominant in the younger generation," Ma said. "This generation emphasizes realizing self-worth and they weigh more the practical considerations of raising a child."

Newspaper headline: Draft code hints at end to family planning

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