China Sticks to Population Control Policy in New Century

China will continue its efforts to control the growth of the population in the 21 century, said Zhang Weiqing, minister of the State Family Planning Commission Thursday.

At the annual board meeting of the Partners in Population and Development by South-South Cooperation, which opened Tuesday, Zhang said that keeping a low birth rate is the key task of China' s family planning program in the coming decade.

He said that China has made it a goal to keep the population below 1.4 billion until 2010 on the basis of scientific feasibility study.

In order to realize the goal, China is persisting in popularization and education about family planning and contraception, and it will make efforts to build a perfect population control system suitable for China's situation, said Zhang.

According to Zhang, population will continue to be a pressing issue for China in the 21st century. The annual net population growth will be more than 10 million at the start of the new century. The population will not decline until it reaches a peak of 1.6 billion in the middle of the 21st century, Zhang said.

At present, China has a large work-age population, which puts a heavy burden on employment. The work-age population will peak at 900 million in the coming decades.

In addition, Zhang predicts that the number of senior citizens over the age of 60 in China will reach 130 million at the end of this year, and will exceed 357 million in 2030, and 439 million in 2050, or a quarter of the total population.

Zhang said that China will stick to family planning policy for a long time depending on future population situation.

(Xinhua 11/02/2000)

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