No timetable for full relaxation on one-child policy

Updated: 2014-11-05 19:52


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BEIJING - China currently has no plans to suspend or further relax its one-child policy, Zhao Yanpei, an official with the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), said Wednesday.

The announcement means that couples, who both have sibling, are still bound by the one-child rule.

Chinese couples with one spouse being an only child are now permitted to have two children, as part of the country's deepening reform plan hailed by the Communist Party of China (CPC) during the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee held in November 2013.

The relaxation came as the world's second largest economy strives to address its declining labor force and aging population.

Although 11 million couples have been granted a permit to have a second child since the country relaxed its family planning policy at the end of last year, only 700,000 of them have filed birth applications, according to the latest NHFPC statistics.

"This number really falls short of our expectations," Zhao said.

The government currently has no timetable for an overall easing on the one-child policy, but is carefully monitoring demographic changes for future policy adjustments, Zhao said.

Under the one-child policy, many couples, particularly in China's countryside, had abortions as they prefer boys to girls. This led to a wide gender gap, for example in 2010 there were 118 male births to 100 female births.