China's population authority is considering the possibility of allowing all urban couples to have a second child.
China to loosen family planning policy
The Chinese government is likely to loosen its family planning policies at the end of the 12fth Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) to address the country's working-age population shortage and an increasing burden to support the elderly, the Beijing Times reported. China's population authority is considering the possibility of allowing all urban couples to have a second child, said Wang Yuqing, Deputy Director of the Population, Resources and Environment Committee under China's top advisory body. Currently, couples residing in rural areas and members of minority ethnic groups are allowed to have a second child when their first-born is a girl.
Yu said he believed loosening the policy would not profoundly affect the population, adding that urbanization has transformed people's ideas on family planning. In major cities like Beijing and Shanghai, the birth rate continues to drop due to the high cost of raising a child. The current family planning policy, which was initiated in the early 1970s to control China's then-rapidly growing population, stipulates that only "only-child" couples in urban areas can have two children.
(China.org.cn March 8, 2011)