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China's one-child policy will stay in effect

January 16, 2013

There has been some speculation recentlythat China's one-child policy would become less strict, allowingChinese residents to have more than one child per family. However, this idea quickly vanished after Chinese officials said that the law restricting how many children a person has will stay in place, according to NBC News.

"The policy should be a long-term one and its primary goal is to keep a low birthrate," Wang Xia, the minister of the National Population and Family Planning Commission, said in a statement.

This statement came as a shock to many, as people believed that the much criticized policy would diminish in the coming years. This past October, a Chinese think tankcreated a new policy and attempted to push it on officials in order toallow families to have two children by 2015.

"I'm surprised," professor Shaun Breslin, associate fellow at U.K. think tank, Chatham House, told the news source. "Almost everything we had heard in recent months pointed towards a relaxation of one-child."

Since the law came into effect in 1979, prohibiting about one-third of China's 1.3 billion citizens from having more than one child, the birth rate has gone down considerably. The policy, which fines those who try to have a second child, has resulted in more than one million forced abortions each year. In addition, it is expected that the law has prevented about 400 million births since it was established, according to the publication. The policy targets the urban areas of China over anywhere else, and it is regularly enforced there as well.

China is running into a new problem with its population, as the elderly population is growing rapidly and there are not as many young people to take care of them. This is impacting not only social problems, but healthcare in the country as well.

"For most Chinese people the current system works fine if you have a sore throat, but a knee operation could use up all your savings," Breslin told the media outlet."That means many are keen to ensure they have a male child in order to ensure there is enough income in the family."

Those who want to talk about the recent ruling can make calls to China using international calling cards.

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