China Could Loosen One-Child Policy

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from The Huffington Post,

China may be about to propose a major reform to its one-child policy.

An official at China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission told Xinhua news agency that the country is currently considering allowing couples to have a second child if at least one of the parents has no siblings. A Chinese economist at Bank of America calculated that such a reform would result in 9.5 million additional births per year.

By adjusting its family planning policies, China hopes to maintain its economic edge and hedge potential labor shortages in the future. As the Wall Street Journal notes, China’s working population decreased for the first time in decades last year.

Since 2007, notes Xinhua, couples in most of China have been permitted a second child if both partners are only children.

In a recent poll conducted by Southern Metropolis Daily, 56 percent of Chinese said they wanted to have a second child. Another 28 percent said they wanted a second child but could not afford it.

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