China to continue its population control policy

China will continue its population control policy in a long period to come though it has become a low birthrate country, the State Commission for Population and Family Planning said Wednesday.

According to statistics of the commission, the average number of children of a Chinese family has dropped from 5.8 in the early 1970s to 1.8 at present, as a result of the unremitting efforts to carry out the family planning policy over the past three decades.

"The big population remains a major issue for China in the present stage and a key factor obstructing the country's economic and social development," said an official with the commission. "Family planning will continue to be a basic state policy that we must adhere to in a long period."

According to the commission, more than 16 million babies are born in China each year since 2000, and the number is about half of the population of Canada and three times the population of Denmark.

"In a dozen years to come, China will continue to have a huge population and sustained population growth," the official said.

Based on current growth rate, China's population is forecast tohit 1.3 billion (population of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan not included) Thursday.

Of the total population, 59.47 percent are based in rural areasand 40.53 percent in urban areas. The life expectancy of the Chinese people is 71.40 years.

According to a survey, most Chinese couples prefer to have no more than two children on average, a far cry from the one-child policy of the state.

"If the family planning policy is loosened, the country is verylikely to experience a boost in population growth," said the official.

People's Daily Online ---