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China to maintain 1-child policy; signal of future change?

March 12, 2013

The Chinese government has announced that it will maintain its family-planning policy but will merge its National Population and Family Planning Commission into its Ministry of Health--a move that may signal a future weakening of the policy.

“The way to interpret this is that the laws are still in effect, but the judges and the policemen have all been fired,” said Wang Feng, director of the Brookings-Tsinghua Center for Public Policy in Beijing. “Soon the laws will also change.”

“What the government is doing is a major political move and they cannot make or announce all the policy changes that go along with it in one day,” he added. “Leaders are aware of the changing demographics. The one-child policy has taken a toll on the labor force and has jeopardized the future economy … The family planning commission employs more than 500,000 people and it will be difficult to change this bureaucracy and what it has done for so many years.”


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