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November 5, 2010

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Home » Metro » Education

Family planning policy stays

THE city has no plans to change the current strict family planning policy to allow more couples to have a second child, officials from Shanghai Population and Family Planning Commission said yesterday.

Domestic media recently quoted a demographer claiming that China will loosen its family planning policy next year on a trial basis in five provinces with low birth rates - Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Jiangsu and Zhejiang - and allow couples with one spouse from a one-child family to have two children.

And the policy will then be extended to the entire nation, said He Yafu, an independent demographer, quoting sources among policymakers.

Currently, Shanghai has strict regulations on couples' eligibility for having a second child. These include instances when both spouses are from a one-child family or the couple's first child has a non-hereditary disability.

However, local population officials said that He is not a government official and no government departments have confirmed this trial.

"The central government has adopted, and will continue to adopt, the appropriate population policy for the situation," said Zhang Meixing, spokesman of Shanghai Population and Family Planning Commission.

"Shanghai will follow orders from the central government. We just report our imbalanced population structure to the superior authorities," Zhang said.

Local officials say Shanghai is facing a tough demographic situation, with the combination of a low birth rate and growing elderly population set to put a strain on services.

"But we should consider the big influx of migrant people who can balance the local population structure and are giving birth to a growing number of babies," said Xie Lingli, the commission director.

"Shanghai is a city of China, which should consider population policy from the national base," she said.


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