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40 cities on the Chinese mainland are promoting marriage and family planning to combat a population crisis

Posted by on 2023/05/15. Filed under Breaking News,China,Headline News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

The Chinese mainland faces a major demographic crisis and may even lose its position as the world’s most populous country. The Chinese mainland announced plans to expand a pilot program to encourage marriage and childbearing in 20 cities including Beijing last year to as many as 20 cities in the hope of boosting fertility rates, the Global Times and other media reported.

The China Family Planning Association announced Wednesday that it will expand the pilot program to 20 cities, including Guangzhou in Guangdong province and Handan in Hebei province, after first launching it in May last year in 20 cities including Beijing, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, the China Daily Online and the Global Times reported recently. The report described the plan as a “new era of marriage and childbearing culture” and an effort to create a social environment conducive to childbearing.

The pilot plan focuses on encouraging marriage, having children at an appropriate age, encouraging parents to share child-rearing responsibilities and curbing outdated customs such as high betrothal gifts, officials with the China Family Planning Association said at an event in Guangzhou on Monday.

Yao Ying, full-time vice president of the China Family Planning Association, said it is hoped that these pilot cities will take innovative and positive measures to help create a childbearing friendly atmosphere and contribute to advancing the modernization of the Chinese mainland with the support of high-quality population development.

He Yafu, a demographer, said that in response to the economic and social development of the Chinese mainland, the young generation has changed their views on marriage. To improve the marriage and childbearing culture, the key lies in the young people. The society should encourage young people to get married and have children.

By the end of 2022, the population of the Chinese mainland was 1.411 billion, down 850,000 from the previous year. The natural growth rate of the population was negative 0.60 per 1,000 people, the first negative growth in 61 years. Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen recorded negative population growth for the first time in 2022. Chinese and foreign experts have pointed out that once negative population growth occurs, it is hard to reverse. Some experts believe that the Chinese mainland is facing a population crisis far beyond its expectations, which will drag down the real estate market, an important engine of economic growth, for a long time.

India is set to overtake mainland China as the world’s most populous country, with nearly 3 million more Indians expected to outnumber mainland China this year, according to the latest data released by the United Nations in April.

The outside world is concerned about whether the Chinese mainland will lose its demographic dividend. However, the Chinese mainland authorities have repeatedly denied the disappearance of demographic dividend, stressing that “the demographic dividend depends not only on the total quantity, but also on the quality, on the population, but also on the talent”.

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