China to 'improve' population policy

Beijing, Aug 9 (IANS) China, home to 1.3 billion people, will "gradually improve" its population policy, the family planning authority said Friday.

Adjustments in the existing policy will be made after ample research for better "economic and social development as well as long-term and balanced population development", official Deng Haihua told the media.

The commission will introduce the changes "at an appropriate time," Xinhua quoted him as saying.

Mao Qun'an, another official, said last week that the government was deliberating whether to further relax the "one-chid policy".

Family planning policy was first introduced in the late 1970s to rein in China's surging population by limiting most urban couples to one child and most rural couples to two children, if the first one is a girl.

The policy was later relaxed, with the current policy stipulating that to have a second child, both parents must be the only children of their parents.

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