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China to Continue Family Planning Policy

China will stick to the family planning policy in the long run, according to a conference held by the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee in Beijing on Thursday.

The conference, presided by General Secretary Hu Jintao of the CPC Central Committee, attached great importance to the family planning work, describing it as a key factor in economic and social development.

Creative thoughts and methods should be actively explored for population and family planning work, the meeting said.

The meeting urged continued research on population development strategies, improvement of population quality based on a low birthrate, improvement of technological and service levels in family planning and reining of rising gender imbalance.

The focus of the population and family planning work must be shifted from purely controlling the number to stabilizing low birthrate, it said.

China would by now have 400 million more people if a family planning policy ordering most couples to have just one child had not been put in place, official statistics show.

China officially announced its population had reached 1.3 billion with the birth of a boy in Jan. 2005.

Formulated in the early 1970s, China's family planning policy encourages late marriage and late childbearing.

Thursday's meeting also decided to convene the annual Central Working Conference on Economy in the near future.

Although great achievement has been made in national economy this year, some in-depth problems including an unreasonable economic structure and inefficient growth pattern have not been fundamentally solved, the meeting said.

The Chinese government should continue to improve its economic macro-control policy next year, further boost reform and opening-up and tighten resource-saving and environmental protection, the meeting said.

The meeting called for further efforts to push forward economic growth in a fast and sound manner, so as to create a good environment for the 17th CPC National Congress.

(Xinhua News Agency December 1, 2006)

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