China says not looking at broad one-child policy relaxation

By REUTERS
November 16, 2013 10:06



China is not considering a broad relaxation of its strict one-child policy despite an easing of existing rules since it would be too disruptive, the health ministry said on Saturday.




The government announced on Friday that it would allow millions of families to have two children in the country's most significant liberalization of its strict one-child policy in about three decades. China, the world's most populous nation, has nearly 1.4 billion people.




Couples in which one parent is an only child will now be able to have a second child, one of the highlights of a sweeping package of reforms announced after the ruling Communist Party held a key meeting that mapped out policy for the next decade.




The plan to ease the policy was envisioned by the government about five years ago as officials worried that the strict controls were undermining economic growth and contributing to a rapidly ageing population the country had no hope of supporting financially.




In a statement carried on the ministry's website, deputy director Wang Peian said if everyone were suddenly allowed to have two children it would cause too many problems.




"Adjusting and perfecting family planning policy is not the same as abandoning it," he said.



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