How should we deal with 'World at Seven Billion?' (2)

10:51, July 13, 2011      

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China changed its population development track

In less than 50 years, China, as world's most populous developing country, has completed a population transformation that took developed countries 100 years to complete. China was able to achieve this despite underdeveloped economic and social conditions through adhering to the comprehensive decision-making of population and development and implementing the basic national policy of family planning. China has successfully changed its population development track and taken the road of comprehensively addressing population issues with Chinese characteristics.

Reporters learned China's population had decreased in proportion to the world’s total from 22 percent at the beginning of the reform and opening-up to 19 percent in 2010. China's indices, such as infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate, are all the best among the developing countries. The average life expectancy of China's population has risen from 68 to 73.5 years old, reaching the average level of moderately developed countries. China's human development index has risen from 0.53 to 0.66, making China one of the countries with the fastest HDI growth rate in the world. The number of Chinese living below the poverty line has decreased dramatically, and China has become a model for eliminating poverty.

According to a report of the United Nations, it is quite possible that China will achieve its millennium development goal ahead of schedule. Li said that the active exploring and successful practice made by China in the realm of population have greatly promoted the integrated development of the human and the sustainable development of the country, and also made important contribution to the global population and development.

"The planned parenthood policy is an effective measure for controlling population. However, as the aging society is coming, the family planning policy should be further researched and adjusted according to the change of the situation," said Tewodros Melesse, general secretary of the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

Melesse said that in the world, there are still 17 million women whose demand for planned parenthood cannot be satisfied. They cannot get enough education and health resources, and they often suffer adverse health effects and or are even killed due to unsafe abortions. The planned parenthood federation is willing to keep carrying forward international cooperation in the realm of population and be a part in promoting the development of the cause.

Promoting long-term, balanced population development

"It is not that the smaller the population is, the better it is," said Zhao Baige, associate director of the National Population and Family Planning Commission of China.

Zhao said that promoting long-term and balanced population development is the key. China should change from a large population country to a powerful human resource country. In other words, China should control its "population size" and improve its "population quality."

Li said generally, the population problems seen during different stages of the 200-year process of industrialization in developed countries have intensively emerged at China's current stage. The population issue will remain one of the key issues restraining China's economic and social development in the future.

Li said that given the new situation, the government has viewed the population work and balanced long-term population development as a strategic task, incorporated them into the overall arrangement of the national 12th Five-Year Plan, and drawn greater importance to them. China will adhere to and improve the existing population policy and take measures to keep the birthrate low; strive to enhance population quality and step up the efforts to develop China into a country rich in quality human resources; properly cope with the issue relating to sex ratio at birth and promote gender equity; guide orderly population migration, improve rational population distribution and strengthen migrant population management and service; perfect social security and pension systems and properly deal with population aging; establish sound family development policy and enhance well-being and harmony of households.
Furthermore, Nobuko Horibe, Asia-Pacific regional director for the UN Population Fund, also said that China is playing a growing role in dealing with the population issue. The UN Population Fund is willing to provide China with techniques to jointly meet the goals of ensuring reproductive health, sustainable development and gender equality for everyone.

By Tian Yating from People's Daily and the article is translated by People's Daily Online.
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