China is planning to scrap all limits on the number of children a family can have as early as this year, Bloomberg reported Monday.
Driven by concerns that the nation’s controversial one-child policy is contributing to an aging society and gender gap and tiring of international scrutiny over the measure, China’s cabinet is reportedly commissioning research examining the environmental, social and other implications of changing the law.
Proposals being discussed would reportedly replace the population-control policy — which prevents most couples in China from having more than one child and is believed to have contributed to infanticide, particularly of girls — with one called “independent fertility,” and could be decided as soon as 2019.
“It’s late for China to remove birth limits even within this year but it’s better than never,” said Chen Jian, a former division chief at the National Family Planning Commission who is now a vice president at the China Society of Economic Reform. “Scrapping birth limits will have little effect on the tendency of China’s declining births.”
“The policy shift will hardly boost the number of newborns in China,” said Huang Wenzheng, a specially-invited senior researcher of Center for China and Globalization. “China’s number of births will continue to drop dramatically, considering a sharp decrease in the number of fertile women and declining fertility willingness.”
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