The Decision of the CCCPC on Some Major Issues Concerning Comprehensively Deepening Reform proposed that a couple can have a second child if either parent is an only child.
How can we carry out the two-child policy? Will it be in force simultaneously across the country? Will family planning work be relaxed in the future? Correspondence from Xinhua had an interview with Wang Pei’an, vice-minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission.
There’s no unified timetable to kick off the two-child policy nationwide.
Q: How do you evaluate the significance of implementing the two-child policy?
A: The CPC Central Committee decided to implement the two-child policy after repeated considerations. It’s a major adjustment and improvement to the family planning policy to adapt to population development and embrace public opinion. First, it will help maintain a reasonable scale of labor force, delay the population aging process and promote sustainable and healthy economic development. Second, it will help unify state policies in line with popular will, enhance the family’s ability to resist risks, strengthen family-based retirement care, and boost family happiness and social harmony. Third, it will help stabilize moderately low birth rates, promote long-term balanced population development, as well as the coordination and sustainable development of the economy, society, population, resources and environment.
Q: How will the policy be implemented?
A: Article 18 of China’s Population and Family Planning Law stipulates that the existing childbearing policy encourages late marriage and childbirth, and calls for one couple, one child. Those who meet the requirements as prescribed in the laws and regulations can arrange to have a second child. Specific measures shall be determined by the people's congress or its standing committee in various provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government.
According to the law, population and family planning regulations in different areas make specific regulations on a second child. The launch of the two-child policy will be in accordance with regional population and family planning laws. The people's congress at the provincial level or its standing committee will revise local regulations or make rules. The National Health and Family Planning Commission will help research and guide work.
Q: Is there a unified timetable nationwide for implementing the policy?
A: There will be no unified timetable. Provinces and cities will decide on a date based on their individual circumstances. But, there shouldn’t be much difference in timetable.
Q: When can qualified couples file for a second child?
A: When provinces where couples were born have revised the population and family planning regulations or the People's Congress Standing Committee makes a special provision, allowing qualified couples to have two children, couples can apply to give birth to a second child. If couples were born in different provinces, as long as one of their birth places allows them to have a second child, they can apply there.
The two-child policy won’t put too much pressure on basic public services.