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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Rural two-child policy gives birth to new possibilities

By  Duan Yan and Shan Juan  (China Daily)

08:30, December 08, 2011

Kids at a kindergarten in Yicheng county, Shanxi province, are growing up in a region that has a two-child policy which experts say is resulting in better demographic indicators than many other places. (China Daily/Zhang Tao)

When Wang Wei works his night shift at a steel plant, his wife Chen Aihua can tend to the housework without having to entertain their 8-year-old son.

The boy can, instead, play with his little brother thanks to a policy implemented 26 years ago.

The family lives in Yicheng county of North China's Shanxi province - one of the four regions that the central government chose in the 1980s to test a policy allowing two children in rural families.

Ethnic groups and families in remote border areas can also enjoy the two-child policy.

Demographic indicators in these special zones have turned out better than the national average, and they have provided valuable references for China's family planning policy, according to Gu Baochang, professor of demography at Beijing-based Renmin University of China.

A 2005-2007 study that Gu led found that a two-child policy is both practical and better for healthy population development.

It is also true in the eyes of a mother.

"Two is better than one," Chen said as she held her boys beside her in their sparsely furnished home.

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