'Ageing' China must adopt 2 child policy to tackle demographic crisis: Official

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Beijing, Feb 13: As China faced looming demographic crisis due to its controversial one child policy, a family planning official said the government must adopt a two child norm to have more young people to address the growing number of ageing population.

'China must adopt two child policy'
More births will help solve the country's gender imbalance caused by some couples from rural areas ensuring their only child is a boy, Mei Zhiqiang, the deputy director of the Family Planning Commission in northern Shanxi province said.

"We should make sure our policy and system allows our children to give birth to two children... and they must have two children," Mei was quoted as saying to the official media here.

China whose current population is of 1.3 billion faced looming demographic crisis because of its three decades old one child policy followed by the most populous nation.

"Government must implant two child policy to have more young people balancing the growing number of old people," an official said.

China should further relax its one-child policy and all couples should have two babies if it is to solve problems including its ageing population. Some lauded Mei's suggestion, calling it an assertive way to rectify the maladjusted demographic structure.

Others sniffed at it, criticising it as another compulsory policy, state-run Global Times said. Family planning has turned increasingly controversial in Chinese society in recent years.

There is no doubt that preventing over 400 million births in about 35 years is a contribution to the reduction of social pressure. However, the side effects are affecting Chinese society, as its aged population increases out of proportion to the young, and the gender ratio becomes severely unbalanced, it said.

The government announced it was relaxing the one-child policy in 2013 to allow couples to have more than one baby if one parent was an only child. Officials said about one million couples had applied to have a second child since the reforms were introduced.

According to last year's official report China had about 185 million people above the age of 60, or 13.7 per cent of the population. The figure is expected to surge to 221 million in 2015, including 51 million "empty nesters," or elderly people whose children no longer live with them, which makes it incumbent on the part government to improve their social security management involving large amount of funds.

The old policy restricted most of the urban couples to have one child and most rural couples to two children, if the first child born was a girl.

PTI 

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