China announced on Monday the relaxation of its family planning measures and will allow its citizens to have a third child after census figures released this month showed a reduction in the birth rate.
The authorities made this decision with the aim of “improving the population structure” of the country, as well as “responding actively to the problem of aging.”
According to the census presented on the 11th and drawn up every ten years, China now has almost 1,412 million inhabitants, although the aging population and the low birth rate have set off alarms in Beijing.
In the text released today, the Chinese authorities maintain that the measure will ensure that “high-quality economic development” is achieved while seeking “to maintain national security and social stability.”
Among the thorniest issues, the authorities cited “the vision of the family by young people” or excessive spending on celebrations, dowries and gifts, which Beijing considers “bad social habits.”
One of the objectives of the Government when it comes to promoting birth rates – the text points out – is to help “reduce family spending on education”, while committing to “improve maternity leave.”
Likewise, this new policy explores solutions to the problem of population aging, such as the delay in the retirement age and the implementation of a series of guarantees for retired workers.
Among some ethnic minorities, it was already possible to conceive three children, something that did not apply to the “Han”, the majority ethnic group in the country, which had led to cases of women forced to abort by the authorities or large fines for non-compliance , among other situations.
In October 2015, the country had authorized its citizens to have two children by relaxing the strict and controversial one-child policy that had ruled China since 1979 to mitigate the growth encouraged under the first president of the People’s Republic of China, Mao Zedong.