The spokesman for the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference sought to clarify the confusion over the one-child policy in the face of overseas media reports saying it could be scrapped. Wu Jianmin said yesterday Beijing was mulling whether it would adjust the three-decades-old policy in the face of changing circumstances. The remark came after the National Population and Family Planning Commission had denied reports that Beijing was considering scrapping the controversial policy. The Beijing News cited the commission's publicity and education department as saying a report on Friday was incorrect. But speaking yesterday to mark the opening of the CPPCC session, Mr Wu said the one-child policy was conceived in accordance with China's situation at the time. 'There was no other choice; we had to adopt this policy,' he said. Mr Wu said it had helped to reduce population growth by between 300 million and 400 million since its introduction in the late 1970s. 'After many changes, relevant authorities are considering whether to amend some policies,' he said. But Mr Wu stopped short of saying how the adjustment would be made. Speculation was rife that Beijing would scrap the policy after the report quoted Zhao Baige, a family planning vice-minister, as saying Beijing was planning to raise birth limits incrementally. But in contrast to Mr Wu's remarks, the commission's publicity and education department told The Beijing News that the report had not been verified. The government has come under pressure in recent years to relax the policy as criticism is mounting that it has affected the country's economic and social development. Delegates to the CPPCC and National People's Congress representatives have also raised their concerns during the annual sessions. Last year 29 CPPCC delegates drafted a proposal calling for an end to the policy as they said it had led to social problems and personality flaws in the mainland's young people. There are also arguments that a low birth rate will slow economic growth. Under the policy, about 40 per cent of couples in the country are allowed to have two or more children.