Population experts have lauded China's module on family planning to reduce the burden the population growth is exerting on the global resources and better development of human beings.
The experts from over 20 countries are attending a two-day international forum early this week to review the progress and prospects of the action plan adopted at the International Conference on Population and Development held in Egypt, in 1994.
Harry Jooseery, executive director of Partners in Population and Development (PPD), an intergovernmental organization that brings together 23 developing countries, told Xinhua that developing countries, especially the ones in sub-Saharan Africa, need to adopt the Chinese module while putting into consideration of their own environment and conditions.
Jooseery said that some African countries like Rwanda are already planning to adopt the Chinese module as population growth is negatively affecting the quality of life of their citizens.
Sara Seims, chair of the Development Committee of the Population Association of America and a member of UNESCO's Global Advisory Group on HIV and Sex Education, also urged developing countries to adopt deliberate family planning polices as China did if they are to reduce the effects of rapid population growth.
"The rapid population growth is going to worsen the food crisis. The more mouths you have to feed the harder it is to feed them," she said.
Prof. Haryono Suyono, Indonesia's former minister for population and minister for people welfare, said that because Indonesia adopted a similar policy, it has had less negative effects of rapid population growth.
China's family planning policy, which promotes most couples having only one child, was introduced by the Chinese government in 1979 to alleviate social, economic, and environmental pressure on the Asian country.
"After over 30 years' endeavor, China has created two wonders, rapid economic development and holistic human development, and a uniquely Chinese path of addressing population issues with comprehensive approaches," said Li Bin, China's minister of National Population and Family Planning Commission and the current chair of the PPD.
Li said that population issues were never closely related to the development as such under the context of current global financial crisis and slowdown of world economic growth, along with energy, environmental and food crises.
"As the most populous country in the world, China's proper handling of its population development is a remarkable contribution to the stability of global population," she said.
Over years, China has reduced total fertility rate from 5.8 in 1970 to around 1.8 currently, transforming its population reproduction pattern, while average life expectancy has reached 73among many other improved indicators.
Studies have shown that China, Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia, which had each of its economy take off within just few decades, benefited from checking their population growth which led to good health services, better education and consequently a much more productive workforce.
"Development economists now say that up to 40 percent of the economic growth experienced by China and Korea came through reducing the rate of population growth," Seims revealed.
China, however, still faces severe challenges ahead with its population rising at a speed of 8 to 10 million people per year within the next decade accompanied with notable birth defect rate, gender gap and an aging population, posing a grave outlook on the population development.
Though facing tough tasks, China is always ready for extensive and in-depth cooperation with PPD member countries in population, family planning and reproductive health on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, the Chinese minister assured the member countries.
(Xinhua News Agency November 27, 2008)