BEIJING, July 10 (Xinhuanet) -- Friday marks the 25th World Population Day. China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission gave details on how an adjustment to its family-planning policy is taking effect, now that parents who meet certain criteria can add a fourth member to their family.
It’s been half a year since the government loosened its single-child policy, to allow parents who are the only child in their family, to have a second baby.
Authorities say implementation has been steady.
“So far, the policy has been implemented in 29 out of the 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, all except Xinjiang and Tibet. As of May 31st, 271,000 couples have applied to have a second child, 241,000 have been approved. The second-child policy has made a good start and is progressing smoothly. The situation meets our expectations.” said Yang Wenzhuang, Nat’l Health & Family Planning Commission.
That’s less than 3 percent of those who qualify for a second child. There are in total 11 million couples.
“The rate is reasonable. The policy has only been in place for half a year. The full birth capacity will be released within 3 to 5 years or even longer. But it also shows that parents are more reasonable when it comes to whether to have a child.” said Yang Wenzhuang, Nat’l Health & Family Planning Commission.
The government estimates that the “one-child’ policy has curbed 400 million births in the past four decades. The recent adjustment aims to offset effects of the aging population. With this change, China’s population is predicted to reach 1.4 billion by 2020.
The authority says allowing parents from single-child families to have another baby doesn’t mean it’s relaxing its family planning policy. It will keep the birth rate at a proper level and avoid a boom. It also emphasizes that current conditions are not conducive to allow every couple to have a second child.