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Xi stresses adherence to family planning policy

Xinhua, May 19, 2016 Adjust font size:

President Xi Jinping said at a conference of the Family Planning Association on Wednesday that China must adhere to the basic state policy of family planning for the long term.

"The population issue has always been an overall, long-term, strategic issue facing our country," said Xi in a written instruction to the conference in Beijing.

"For quite a long time in the future, China's basic national condition of a large population will not fundamentally change. The population pressure on economic and social development will not fundamentally change. The tensions between population and resources and environment will not fundamentally change," said Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.

Xi spoke highly of the efforts of the family planning association over the years, adding that it should earnestly perform its duties, guide the people to correctly understand the adjustment to the family planning policy, and provide relevant services.

Since January 1, China has allowed all married couples to have two children. This follows an earlier easing of the policy in 2013 that allowed couples to have a second child if either parent was an only child.

The latest change ended the "one child" policy, which was implemented in the late 1970s.

Premier Li Keqiang in an instruction to the meeting said China is at a critical juncture for converting its large population into rich human resources.

He added that unleashing the full potential of human resources is crucial for the country to maintain a medium-to-high economic growth rate over the long term and develop the economy to a medium-to-high level.

The policy switch allowing each household to have a second child has raised new requirements for family planning work, Li noted, encouraging the association to continue to press ahead with their services.

At Wednesday's meeting, 1,576 organizations and 1,518 individuals working in the family planning sector were awarded for their excellent performance.

The association, with nearly one million grassroots organizations, provides various family planning-related services, including public education and counseling on reproductive health, services for ethnic minority people and the migrant population, and economic assistance to poor families such as micro-financing.

The association also offers help to families that have lost their only child. Since 2012, the association has invested nearly 200 million yuan (30.6 million U.S. dollars) in reaching out to these families, benefiting over 110,000 people, according to statistics from the association.