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Policies have limited population numbers in some form in China since the 1980s. But the rule has imposed new challenges on the country’s populace, and authorities now hope to correct them. They recently gifted Chinese families new freedoms in the race to address a steep birth decline.
What are the new family rules in China?
Officials from the People’s Republic of China announced an end to population checks on Tuesday.
The rule, which has existed in some form since the late 70s and early 80s, has gone through several iterations.
China’s central government intended to reduce rapid national growth rates, which pushed the population towards the one-billion mark at the time.
People who infringed on this policy courted harsh punishment in the early days and skewed the country’s gender balance.
Last year, state media reported officials had levelled a 718,080 Yuan (£81,506) fine for a family that had seven children.
Chinese figures living in the west, such as Ma Jian, have claimed the state continued to enforce the policy through abortions and sterilisation.
Populations of males have increased to between three and four percent more than Chinese females.
Birth rates have also dropped recently, down 15 percent compared to 2020.
China initially started loosening these population rules around 2015.
Following the announcement on Tuesday, families can now have as many children as they like.
While the official policy is to allow a maximum of three children, China will not prosecute families violating the family planning law.
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The PRC announced the three-child rule nearly two months ago, on May 31.
Chinese officials have since announced they intend to support growing families.
State news agency Xinhua said by 2025 China wishes to establish a policy system that “actively supports births with better services and lower costs in childbearing, care and education”.
Representatives from the country’s National Health Commission have discussed the dramatic retooling of Chinese policy.
Speaking to Xinhua, Yang Wenzhuang, head of population and fertility affairs, hailed a “fundamental change”.
He said the national government now wants to provide a population boost.
Mr Wenzhuang said: “The main purpose for implementing the three-child policy and supporting measures is to help achieve an appropriate fertility rate and promote long-term and balanced population development.
“It represents a fundamental change from previous goals of birth policies, such as curbing the excessively rapid population growth.”
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