Facebook Twitter 新浪微博 google plus Instagram YouTube Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015

Chinese legislators applaud law amendment to allow "one couple, two children"

(Xinhua)    18:09, December 23, 2015

BEIJING, Dec. 23 -- Chinese legislators showed support for an amendment draft to the family planning law which allows couples to have two children.

According to the draft submitted for review at the bi-monthly session of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, which opened on Monday, "the state advocates that one couple shall be allowed to have two children."

If adopted, the draft, which came after the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee's decision in October on the universal two-child proposal, will replace the decades-long "one couple, one child" policy.

At the panel discussion on Wednesday, legislator Luo Liangquan said the draft was of great significance to the nation in meliorating demographic structure and safeguarding the harmony and happiness of families.

The timing of the draft was also advocated by the other legislators, including Liu Zhenqi, who said the new rule was necessary to encourage more couples in the nation to have two children amid rising costs in upbringing and education.

China's family planning policy was first introduced in the 1970s to rein in the surging population. For decades, most urban couples were limited to one child and rural couples were allowed to have two children if the first child was a girl.

After long-term efforts, the rampant growth of China's population has been contained and quality of life for the population has risen substantially.

As the nation's demographic structure changes amid fast-growing economic development, the policy has also been blamed for generating a number of social problems, mainly a decreasing labor force and an aging population.

Statistics show the population of senior citizens has been increasing rapidly in recent years, while the labor force is contracting. In 2014, the number of citizens aged over 65 accounted for about one tenth of the entire population of 1.3 billion.

In order to adapt, China relaxed its birth rules in 2013, allowing couples to qualify for a second child if one of the partners is an only child.

The one-child policy was abandoned at the Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee held in October.

The new rule in the draft is expected to further stabilize the nation's total fertility rate (TFR), or the number of children that would be born to a woman of child-bearing age, which stood at 1.65 percent in 2014. The reading dipped to about 1.21 percent in 2012.

Calling for adherence to the family planning policy as a basic state policy, the legislators said women and children's medical care should be improved, and more incentives should be given to the couples that followed the new rule.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Yuan Can,Bianji)

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