Beijing Municipality has eased its local birth control policy, making it easier for nine special groups of families to have a second child.
The nine groups that are allowed a second child include couples who have a disabled first child, who are the only child of their respective families and currently have only one child, and remarried couples who have only one child.
Under the former municipal Population and Birth Control Statutes, these couples could only have a second child at least four years after the first child was born and if the mother was at least 28 years old.
The revised statute, which will be implemented on Sept. 1, stipulates that couples who are subject to just one of these conditions can have a second child.
Deng Xingzhou, director of Beijing Municipality Birth Control Committee, said women who met both conditions were usually beyond the best age for giving birth.
The revision aimed to ensure the safe labor and health of mothers and children, said Deng.
Lin Wenyi, vice-director of the Standing Committee of Beijing Municipality People's Congress, said on Thursday the revised statute better protected the rights of local citizens.
Beijing is one of the Chinese cities with a relatively low population growth rate. From Nov. 1, 1999, to Oct. 31, 2000, the local population increased by 0.09 percent.
Deng said the capital would face challenges in coordinating the relationship between population, the economy, resources and environment. The city planned to increase gross domestic product (GDP) per capita to 6,000 US dollars by 2008.
(Xinhua News Agency August 9, 2003)