Date
21 August 2017
China says the time is not ripe to relax the family planning policy for all families. Photo: Bloomberg
China says the time is not ripe to relax the family planning policy for all families. Photo: Bloomberg

No imminent baby boom in China, official says

China won’t see a baby boom anytime soon as the number of couples applying to have a second child is only a quarter of the total eligible figure, a senior family planning official said Thursday.

Yang Wenzhuang, director of the family planning guidance department of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, said 241,300 couples have been approved to have a second child out of applications from 271,600 couples as of May 31, China News Service reported.

Currently, a total of around 11 million couples are eligible to have a second baby. A survey of 29 provinces and municipalities last year showed that 80 percent of families hope to have two children. And the ratio reaches 60 percent among families that already have one child.

However, authorities believe the time is not ready yet to relax the policy for all families.

“There are around 150 million families that already have one child, and nearly 90 million couples will prepare to have a second child if we ease the curb,” Yang said. “That will pose a great threat for our economic and social development.”

At present, couples are allowed to have a second baby only if either parent is an only child.

Twenty-nine of 31 provincial regions in the Chinese mainland have relaxed the decades-old one-child policy, allowing couples to have a second baby if they meet the eligibility criteria.

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JZ/JP/RC

Freelance journalist

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