Daily US Times: In a major policy shift, China has announced that it will allow couples to have up to three children. The decision comes after census data showed a steep decline in birth rates in the country.
In 2016, China scrapped its decades-old one-child policy, allowing couple with a two-child limit which has failed to lead to a sustained upsurge in births.
The cost of raising children in cities has deterred many Chinese couples.
President Xi Jinping approved the latest move at a meeting of top Communist Party officials.
According to Xinhua news agency, it will come with “supportive measures, which will be conducive to improving our country’s population structure, fulfilling the country’s strategy of actively coping with an ageing population and maintaining the advantage, endowment of human resources”.
But Amnesty International said the policy, like its predecessors, was still a violation of reproductive and sexual rights.
The leading human rights group’s China team head, Joshua Rosenzweig said: “Governments have no business regulating how many children people have. Rather than ‘optimising’ its birth policy, China should instead respect people’s life choices and end any invasive and punitive controls over people’s family planning decisions.”
Some experts were also sceptical of the impact of the latest three children policy.
Hao Zhou, a senior economist at Commerzbank, told Reuters: “If relaxing the birth policy was effective, the current two-child policy should have proven to be effective too.”
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