CHINA has scrapped its controversial ‘two child’ policy and will now allow couples to have three kids.
According to state media, the move was approved by President Xi Jinping following concerns about the country’s slow-growing population.
This comes after Beijing abolished its infamous ‘one child’ policy in 2016 which had been in place since the late-1970s.
The two child limit has failed to result in a sustained surge in births as the high cost of raising kids in Chinese cities deterred many couples from starting families.
“To further optimise the birth policy, (China) will implement a one-married-couple-can-have-three-children policy,” state news agency Xinhua said in a report on the meeting.
The policy change 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”, the report continues.
It did not specify the support measures.
The announcement drew a chilly response on Chinese social media, where many people said they could not afford to have even one or two children.
“I am willing to have three children if you give me 5 million yuan ($785,650),” one user posted on Weibo
Early this month, a once-in-a-decade census showed that China’s population grew at its slowest rate during the last decade since the 1950s, to 1.41 billion.
Data also showed a fertility rate of just 1.3 children per woman for 2020 alone, on a par with ageing societies like Japan and Italy.
The Communist Party also said today it would phase-in delays in the country’s retirement ages, but did not provide any details.