Posts tagged ‘Family planning’

25/02/2015

Big national birthrate rise signals new peak|chinadaily.com.cn

Change to family planning policy likely to result in 1m extra babies each year

Big national birthrate rise signals new peak

A new peak in births is likely to occur as a result of the relaxing of the family planning policy and could continue for several years, according to experts.

They estimate that the number of babies born annually will rise by more than 1 million from current levels, bringing the total number of births each year close to that recorded during the last peak.

Last year, 16.87 million babies were born in China, 470,000 more than in 2013, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

“This is a dramatic increase compared with previous years,” Yuan Xin, a professor of population studies at Nankai University in Tianjin, said.

The number of births declined steadily between 1999, when more than 18 million babies were born, and 2006.

Since then, the number of births has remained stable at less than 16.4 million, according to the bureau.

The big increase in the number of births last year was caused by a series of moves to relax the family planning restrictions, Yuan said.

Since late 2013, 29 of the 31 provincial regions on the mainland have enacted policies that allow couples to have a second baby if either partner is a single child, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

About 1.07 million such couples had registered with the authorities to have a second child by the end of last year, the commission said.

via Big national birthrate rise signals new peak[1]|chinadaily.com.cn.

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22/01/2015

China’s Communist Party Sounds Death Knell for Arrest, Conviction Quotas – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Former Chinese judge Jianwei Fang doesn’t mince words about the country’s practice of using arrest and conviction quotas to measure the performance of the country’s police, prosecutors and judges.

“It’s very stupid,” he says.

The Communist Party would appear to agree. This week, the party agency in charge of legal affairs, the Central Political and Legal Committee, called on the country’s legal institutions to “firmly abolish” the inclusion of goals for arrests, indictments, guilty verdicts and case conclusions in assessments of staff, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on Wednesday.

The demand from the committee appeared to reinforce a decision by the Supreme People’s Court in December to do away with court performance rankings based on quotas and lessen the importance of quotas in assessing performance.

Xinhua’s report drew a connection between performance standards in the Chinese legal system and a proliferation of wrongful convictions, including in death penalty cases. Some of those cases, it said, “were affected by the presumption of guilt, and were caused by an emphasis on confession over evidence, even torture.”

Mr. Fang, who worked as a junior judge in eastern China’s Zhejiang province in the mid-2000s, described the elimination of quotas as one of the most encouraging reforms to be announced following a major Communist Party meeting on rule of law in October.

“Different judges and different courts are competing based on these targets, which are highly unscientific and unreasonable,” he said. “They don’t mean anything.”

Conviction rates for criminal cases in China are well over 90%. It sometimes happens, according to Mr. Fang, that judges and prosecutors may suspect a defendant is innocent but still find him guilty and impose a suspended sentence in order to maintain good conviction numbers.

via China’s Communist Party Sounds Death Knell for Arrest, Conviction Quotas – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

12/01/2015

1 mln Chinese couples apply to have second child – Xinhua | English.news.cn

Nearly one million couples have applied to have a second child since China eased its one-child policy in 2014, allowing couples to have a second child if either parent is an only child.

The number of applications is in line with the estimate of less than two million annually by China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission, said Mao Qunan, a spokesman with the commission, at a press conference on Monday.

Since China’s one-child policy was eased in a pilot program in east China’s Zhejiang Province in January 2014, couples nationwide may now have a second child if either parent is an only child.

Mao said that the commission will put more effort toward improving the population monitoring mechanism and will stipulate relevant policies.

“We will also collect public opinion on health care for pregnant women and children in a timely manner,” Mao added.

via 1 mln Chinese couples apply to have second child – Xinhua | English.news.cn.

19/11/2014

China’s Aging Migrant Workers – Businessweek

China’s migrant worker population is getting bigger and older and includes more families living together, a government report released today shows.

A Chinese migrant worker labors at the construction site of a real estate project in Jiujiang city, east Chinas Jiangxi province on March 3, 2014.

With 245 million migrant workers as of the end of 2013, China’s liudong renkou, or floating population, now amounts to one-sixth of all Chinese. That’s up from 236 million  a year earlier, says the study, released on Nov. 18 by the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

With China’s entire population aging, it’s no surprise that its migrants are getting older, too. The report says that the average age of migrant workers has gone from 33.1 years old in 2011 to 33.7 at the end of last year. And they are more likely to move with their families: The number of migrant worker parents bringing their children with them (6- to 15-year-olds) has risen to 62.5 percent, up 5.2 percentage points from 2011.

That’s good news. China has 61 million “left-behind children”, the offspring of migrant workers who are separated from their parents and still living in the countryside, according to some estimates. They make up more than one in five of all youth in China and often suffer from psychological problems, including juvenile delinquency, and are prone to high rates of dropping out of school.

The jump in children accompanying their worker parents may suggest that life for migrant families may be slowly starting to improve. China’s leaders have made urbanization a top goal and aim to lift the proportion of people living in cities from just over 53.7 percent now to 60 percent by 2020.

To encourage that, China’s economic planners announced last November that they will start to allow migrants to get more access to urban benefits including pensions, health care, and crucially education for their children. Progress on the complicated and expensive reforms, however, has been limited.

via China’s Aging Migrant Workers – Businessweek.

24/05/2014

China’s 430 Million Families Shrink and Age – Businessweek

China’s families keep shrinking in size, says a new report by the National Health and Family Planning Commission, released earlier this month.

Retired Chinese women practice Tai Chi at a park in Haikou city, south China Hainan province on March 25

It’s well known that the One-Child Policy played a key role in radically reducing the size of China’s households, which have shrunk from an average of 5.3 members in the 1950s to just 3.02 in 2012. (The numbers were 3.96 and 3.10 in 1990 and 2010, respectively.)

But that longtime policy restriction has not been the main driver in recent years, according to the China Family Development Report 2014. Instead, internal migration and changing social norms have been bigger contributors to the phenomenon in recent years. (That also means last year’s loosening of the family planning regulation isn’t going to reverse the smaller household phenomenon.)

By 2010, China had 160 million households made up of either one or two people. That’s 40 percent of the total number of households, a proportion that rose from 25 percent of the total in 2000. Over the same decade, the number of single person households doubled, and those of two people went up by 68 percent, according to the commission.

So what’s driving the surge in little families? In the cities it has a lot to do with young people waiting longer to get married. “A growing number of well-educated people now decide to marry at a later age because of their careers,” the China Daily reported, citing the survey. “Changing attitudes toward marriage also prompted many to stay single.”

As China’s population rapidly ages, more and more families are elderly. China now has 88 million families made up of people over 65, about one-fifth of the total, the report says. That reverses the longtime Chinese custom of older parents living with their children. With some 300 million rural migrant workers living far from their hometowns, the problem is particularly acute in the countryside—that is contributing to a growing problem of poverty among the elderly.

via China’s 430 Million Families Shrink and Age – Businessweek.

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08/01/2014

China aims to ban smoking in public places by end of the year | Reuters

China aims to impose a nationwide ban on smoking in public places this year, as authorities move to stamp out a widespread practice that has taken a severe toll on citizens\’ health.

Students pose for pictures with ''big cigarette models'' during a campaign ahead of the World No Tobacco Day, at a primary school in Handan, Hebei province, May 29, 2013. REUTERS/China Daily

China, home to some 300 million smokers, is the world\’s largest consumer of tobacco, and smoking is a ubiquitous part of social life, particularly for men.

Tougher regulation of smoking is a priority this year, officials from the National Health and Family Planning Commission said this week, adding that the agency was pushing lawmakers to toughen laws on tobacco use.

\”Compared to the damage to health that smoking causes, tobacco\’s economic benefits are trivial,\” Mao Qun\’an, a spokesman for the commission, told a news conference on Tuesday.

The drumbeat to reduce tobacco use has grown steadily louder in the past few years, but experts say China\’s powerful tobacco industry, which has resisted raising cigarette prices and use of health warnings on cigarette packs, has been a tough opponent.

The nationwide smoking ban has long been in the works. Several cities have banned smoking in public places, but enforcement has been lax.

Beijing pledged in 2008 to prohibit smoking in most public venues, including government offices, but no-smoking signs are frequently ignored.

Steps recommended by the commission range from beefing up education on the dangers of tobacco to banning smoking in schools and hospitals.

An official in the tobacco control office of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said in December that lawmakers would consider the nationwide ban on smoking in public places this year.

The commission\’s statement follows a government circular urging Communist Party cadres and government officials not to light up in schools, workplaces, stadiums, and on public transport, among other places, so as to set a positive example.

via China aims to ban smoking in public places by end of the year | Reuters.

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28/11/2012

* China considers easing family planning rules

Given that it takes years or even decades for population policies to make a difference, China better get on with any changes; and never mind being gradual about it.

Reuters: “China is considering changes to its one-child policy, a former family planning official said, with government advisory bodies drafting proposals in the face of a rapidly ageing society in the world’s most populous nation.

Proposed changes would allow for urban couples to have a second child, even if one of the parents is themselves not an only child, the China Daily cited Zhang Weiqing, the former head of the National Population and Family Planning Commission, as saying on Wednesday.

Under current rules, urban couples are permitted a second child if both parents do not have siblings. Looser restrictions on rural couples means many have more than one child.

Population scholars have cited mounting demographic challenges in their calls for reform of the strict policy, introduced in 1979 to limit births in China, which now has 1.34 billion people.

Zhang said the commission and other population research institutes have submitted policy recommendations to the government.

Zhang, who serves on China’s congressional advisory body, said any changes if adopted would be gradual.

via China considers easing family planning rules | Reuters.

27/06/2012

* China punishes officials over late-term abortion case

BBC News: “A Chinese official has been sacked and others punished over the case of a woman forced to have a late-term abortion, state-run media report.

A relative said the couple were being harassed, with banners apparently calling them traitors in Shaanxi

An investigation showed that officials “used crude means” to persuade Feng Jianmei to agree to the abortion, Xinhua news agency reports.

Ms Feng’s pregnancy was terminated at seven months because she had violated the one-child policy law.

Photos of her with the foetus caused widespread condemnation online.

China’s one-child family planning policy aims to control the country’s population, which now stands at around 1.3bn. Rights groups say the law has meant women being coerced into abortions, which Beijing denies.

Ms Feng’s case has come to symbolise the extreme measures some officials take in order to meet population targets, reports the BBC’s Martin Patience in Beijing.

Officials punished

Officials in China’s north-west province of Shaanxi were punished for having “violated the laws of central and local government on family planning”, Xinhua reports.

The head of the family planning bureau in Zhenping county, Jiang Nenghai, had been sacked. Another family planning official had also been given “administrative demerits”, Xinhua said.

Other officials in connection with the case had also been punished, Xinhua said, without elaborating further.

“According to the investigation, while persuading Feng to receive the abortion, some staff of the township government used crude means to violate her intentions,” Xinhua says.

“There was also no legal basis for the township government’s demand that Feng and her family pay a deposit of 40,000 yuan [$6,300] for a certificate allowing her to have her second child,” it added.

Ms Feng will be given compensation, Xinhua adds, without providing the details.”

via BBC News – China punishes officials over late-term abortion case.

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