China remains confident that its newly reformed birthing policy will help alleviate the nation's low fertility levels. The country's statistics authority said Thursday that the three-child policy should help solve the country's population issue by improving the age structure and promoting long-term social balance.
The implementation of the three-child policy has received widespread criticism, with some arguing that it would not be enough to address the nation's low fertility levels. Critics of the policy reform said the government should instead focus on measures that would ease the financial burden of parents to raise children.
China changed its family planning policy on May 31, allowing couples to have up to three children. The government amended the policy after the latest census showed that the country's birthrate had been declining at an alarming rate for four consecutive years. China's aging population also sharply increased, while its available workforce dipped to its lowest levels.
The National Bureau of Statistics acknowledged the issue at a press conference Thursday. Bureau representative, Fu Linghui, said the nation's seventh national census was a wake-up call for the government to immediately implement a birth stimulation plan.
Apart from lifting birthing restrictions, the Chinese government is planning to implement supporting measures to encourage couples to have more children. This will include measures aimed at easing financial burdens on couples and possible incentives for those that decide to have more than two children.
China's family planning policies have been internationally criticized as a violation of basic human rights. Due to a population boom between 1949 and 1976, China was forced to impose legislation to control birth rates. In 1980, Deng Xiaoping's Politburo introduced new social rules, which included the nation's "one-child policy."
By 2016, the government relaxed its birthing restriction and allowed some couples to have up to two children. Experts said the decision to ease the restriction may have been too late.
After decades of convincing its citizens of the need to reduce the nation's birth rate, the country is now facing an alarming problem with its aging population and shrinking workforce.