China played down speculation about relaxing the birth rule raised by a quote from a former minister of the National Population and Family Planning Commission, according to a director-general at the commission on Thursday.
In a China Daily report published on Wednesday, Zhang Weiqing, the former minister of the commission, said changes to the family planning policy are being considered and couples will be able to have a second child even if one of them is not an only child under the proposed change.
The report was quoted by many newspapers and websites, triggering wide speculation.
However, when asked for confirmation about the report today, Zhang Jian, director-general of the publicizing and education department of National Population and Family Planning Commission, played down the proposed change.
"Speaking on behalf of himself, Zhang Weiqing's words don't have any weight," said Zhang Jian.
At present, for urban residents, only parents who are themselves an only child are allowed to have a second child.
Birth rule could be relaxed