A report that China would be relaxing its decades-long family planning policy soon to allow couples with just one spouse from a one-child family to have a second child has been denied by authorities.
The National Health and Family Planning Commission said no new documents mandating such a change had been issued and there was no timetable for the issue of such a policy, the People’s Daily website reported yesterday.
However, the commission said the central government was discussing the issue.
Current policy allows a few exceptions to the one-child rule, such as when both parents are from a one-child family or the first child has a non-inherited disease. In rural areas, couples are allowed to have a second child if the first is a girl.
Caixin.com had reported that the new policy was expected to be announced after the Third Plenum of the 18th CPC Central Committee, which completed its deliberations on Tuesday.
On Monday, Mao Qun’an, spokesman for the commission, said studies had been done on population size, quality, structure and distribution and the nation would be sticking to its family planning policy for “a long time.”
He said perfecting population policy was an important task for the commission, with the need to keep a low birth rate while considering people’s demands, social and economic development and population structure.
A nationwide follow-up survey on family development is to be launched next year.
The survey will track 30,000 households nationwide.
Topics such as health, parenting, elderly care, gender and income distribution of family members will be polled for a national database.
A pilot survey was launched last week in northeast China’s Liaoning Province.
China’s family planning policy was first introduced in the late 1970s to rein in a surging population. Since then, the nation’s birth rate has dropped to a very low level.
According to the 2010 census, national fertility, or the number of children a woman will deliver in her lifetime, was 1.18, half the global figure and lower than developed countries’ 1.7. In cities, the figure was 0.88.