China is considering a gradual raising of its limits on the number of children a couple can have, according to a senior official of the National Population and Family Planning Commission.
The comments highlight growing concern about the demographic implications of the strict and sometimes harshly enforced population control rules that are a cornerstone of Chinese social policy.
The so-called “one-child policy”, after the limit applied to urban members of China's dominant Han ethnic group, has been credited with preventing 400m births since the late 1970s.
However, it is also leading to a fall in the proportion of working-age citizens, which has prompted warnings that China will “get old before it gets rich”. This has become a big issue among decision-makers，and Beijing wanted to raise the birth limits “incrementally”.