Thirteen members of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Shenzhen have proposed expediting relaxation of the one-child policy, allowing women there over the age of 30 to have a second baby.
Shenzhen is a Special Economic Zone and its local congress and government have the authority to enact certain areas of legislation. That allows them to put into practice reforms of the one-child policy before they are implemented nationwide, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported.
At the third plenum of the Communist Party Central Committee in Beijing in November, changes to the policy were announced to allow couples in which one parent was a single child to have a second baby. Some demographers have subsequently called for further reforms that would allow all couples to have a second child.
Analysts believe any further relaxation would probably begin in provinces that have long had low birth rates, such as those in the east, before they are implemented nationwide.
During the ongoing annual meetings of Shenzhen's municipal People’s Congress and CPPCC, delegates proposed removing the restrictions on women above 30 preventing them from having a second child, or setting a five-year limit on the gap between the birth of a first and a second child.
The newspaper reported that the 13 CPPCC members, who include Yang Huanbin and Huang Lingfeng, submitted the proposal.
Wang Pei’an, deputy director of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, has said China’s population would not grow substantially in the short term under the new rules, Xinhua reported in November.
“Although the newborn population will increase in the next few years, it will be equivalent to that of around 2000. So it is safe to say the new policy will not be a problem.” he said.