ANKARA (AA) - China is planning to further relax the family planning policy to encourage more births amid a rapidly aging population, state-run media reported Monday.
According to China Daily, the government would provide extensive social and economic support to counter the shrinking workforce and aging population problems.
"The universal second-child policy will by no means be the end of optimization of the family planning policy," the daily quoted Yuan Xin, vice-president of the China Population Association, as saying.
"More inclusive population policies will be introduced to improve fertility, the quality of the workforce and the structure of the population."
The country released its five-year plan from 2021 to 2025 to promote balanced population development earlier this month.
It also called for forming a long-term population development strategy, with a more inclusive family planning policy and the development of affordable nursery services to reduce the cost of raising children, according to the daily.
In 2016, China relaxed restrictions and allowed couples to have a second child due to the rapid increase in the aging population.
Earlier in 1978, the country imposed a controversial "one child policy" in an effort to reduce poverty and develop the economy.
The birthrate on the Chinese mainland dropped to 10.48 per 1,000 people in 2019, the lowest level in seven decades, and the number of births went down by 580,000 compared with the previous year, state-run media quoted the National Bureau of Statistics data.
It was the third consecutive year of falling births despite the implementation in 2016 of a universal second-child policy that allows all couples to have two children, the data showed.
*Writing by Islamuddin Sajid