China to promote family planning policies in bid to improve living standards

Sunday, Feb 12,2012, 7:42:38 PM

China will further promote family planning policies in a bid to steady birth rates and alleviate poverty in its less affluent counties, according to a new plan on poverty reduction.

Under to the plan, China aims to keep population growth rates within 0.8 per cent in key poverty-relief counties by 2015, a move that it hopes will see people's living standards improved. By 2020, birth rates in these counties should be kept low and steady.

The plan was jointly issued by the National Population and Family Planning Commission and the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development.

"China's population development is in a significant changing period and affected by population structure and quality. And the large population and rapid growth also leads to regional poverty," it said.

While calling for the promotion of free pre-pregnancy examinations in key counties, the plan requires local authorities to integrate resources based on local realities and transform economic development to safeguard and promote people's well-being.

"The birth rate in poverty stricken areas has been steadily reducing and population growth effectively curbed," the plan said.

In addition, the size of the poor population has been reduced in rural areas and the income level raised, according to the plan.

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