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China to support couples having third child

This undated file photo shows obstetric nurses in the Central Hospital of Enshi, Hubei province, taking care of newborns at the hospital. (LI YUANYUAN / FOR CHINA DAILY)

BEIJING – China will allow all couples to have three children and beef up support policies in a bid to cope with increasingly aging society, according to a key Party meeting on Monday.

The meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee also highlighted the need to increase the mandatory age for retirement and work proactively toward the unified national management of basic old-age insurance funds to carry out a national strategy of responding proactively to the aging society.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, presided over the meeting to hear reports on major policy measures to actively address the aging of population during the 14th Five-Year Plan period from 2021 to 2025

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, presided over the meeting to hear reports on major policy measures to actively address the aging of population during the 14th Five-Year Plan period from 2021 to 2025.

The meeting reviewed a decision on improving birth policies to promote long-term balanced population growth.

China has a large population, and the aging of its population has been increasing in extent in recent years, the meeting said.

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The meeting acknowledged the progress of major birth policies adopted by the Party's central authorities since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012.

China in 2013 allowed couples to have a second child if either parent was an only child, and in 2016 allowed married couples to have two children, phasing out the one-child policy.

The meeting demanded efforts to implement a third-child policy in accordance with the law, and to advance birth policies alignment with relevant economic and social policies.

Education and guidance should be provided to promote marriage and family values among marriage-age young people, the meeting determined.

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Efforts are needed to improve prenatal and postnatal care services, develop a universal childcare services system, promote fairness in education, increase the supply of quality educational resources, and reduce family spending on education.

China should also continue to implement its current reward and assistance system as well as preferential policies for one-child families and rural families with only two daughters.

The meeting urged efforts to deepen the national medium and long-term population development strategy and regional population development planning to promote long-term and balanced population development.

With inputs from Xinhua