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Shanghai says second-child trial unheard of

SHANGHAI won't carry out a trial that allows couples to have a second child, Shanghai Population and Family Planning Commission said today.

Chinese media recently quoted a demographer saying the government will loosen its family planning policy on a trial basis in Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Jiangsu and Zhejiang, provinces with lower birth rates, to allow couples with one spouse from one-child family to have two kids next year.

The policy will expand to the entire country, said He Yafu, an independent demographer, quoting sources among policymakers.

However local population officials said He is not an official and his opinion can't represent the government.

"The central government has and will adopt appropriate population policy based on actual conditions," said Zhang Meixing, the spokesman of Shanghai Population and Family Planning Commission. "Shanghai will follow the order from the central government. We just report our imbalanced population structure to the national authorities."

Local officials said Shanghai is facing a tough situation of a low birth rate and an aging population.
"But the big influx of migrants can balance local population structure and have given rise to more babies," said Xie Lingli, the commission director. "Shanghai is a municipality and should review the population policy from a national perspective."


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