Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang
stressed Monday the importance of continuing the family-planning policy and keeping a low fertility rate in order to ensure economic development and people's livelihood.
"A large population and a weak economic base are the two main features of our country. The population issue is a major problem for the country's comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development," said Li at a meeting on the one-child policy held Tuesday. Li's remarks were published on Tuesday.
The family-planning policy was introduced in the late 1970s to rein in China's surging population by encouraging late marriages and late childbearing and limiting most urban couples to one child and most rural couples to two children.
Li, also member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Political Bureau, stressed that proper practice of the one-child policy was essential to ensure the economic development, people's livelihoods and social stability.
He said the country must ensure a low fertility rate while promoting the population's overall qualities, noting issues such as birth defects, gender imbalance and an aging population should be well addressed, in an effort to turn the huge burden of population into huge human resources.
It's estimated that without the policy, the country's population would be 400 million more than the current 1.3 billion people, according to the National Population and Family Planning Commission.
(Xinhua News Agency September 9, 2009)