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Experts: Civil code plans don't mean family planning is over

By CAO YIN | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-08-28 17:11
[Photo/VCG]

Removing stipulations regarding family planning from a draft civil code does not indicate China will end the family planning policy soon, legislators and law professors said on Tuesday.

Family planning-related clauses in the current Marriage Law and Adoption Law have been dropped in a draft to the marriage section of the civil code.

The draft is among six sections of the code that were submitted to the top legislature — the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress — for a first reading on Monday.

Given the country's demographic situation, the change has triggered widespread public attention and doubts over whether it's meant to pave the way for abolition of the country's decades-old family planning policy.

However, legislators explained on Tuesday there's a special law on family planning, so there's no need to duplicate content in the marriage section while drafting the civil code.

Related content can still be found in the Population and Family Planning Law. As for whether the Population and Family Planning Law will be amended due to the changing demographic situation in the country, that needs further consideration, according to the Commission for Legislative Affairs of the NPC Standing Committee.

Li Mingshun, a law professor at China Women's University, explained the marriage section of the civil code, which belongs to the private law, mainly regulates rights and obligations of family members. But birth is a basic human right for people, so family planning falls in the category of administrative law, or even constitutionional law.

"As for whether the family planning policy will be abolished, that's not under the regulation of the marriage section of the civil code," he said.

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