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Beijing greets 1.3 billionth mainland baby
By Chen Zhiyong (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-01-06 08:09

The 1.3 billionth Chinese person was greeted Thursday morning in Beijing.

Just two minutes after midnight, a boy of 3.66 kilograms drew his first breath and uttered his first cries at the Beijing Hospital of Gynaecology and Obstetrics.

Watched closely by his overjoyed father Zhang Tong and tired mother Lan Hui, the baby was sleepy but healthy.

"At the moment, I feel that I am the happiest person in the world. I believe that my lucky boy will have a smooth life," said proud father.

It has been 10 years since the 1.2 billionth baby was born in China - a full decade for another 100 million people to be born in this country and a sign that population growth has slowed down.

The family planning policy of the past 30 years has effectively controlled the over-rapid increase of China's population.

China has stayed on the list of countries with low fertility rates for the past decade.

In fact the change in pace is worrying family planners for the future, with an increasing ageing population.

According to the 2000 national census, the percentage of people aged 65 and older has already reached 6.96 per cent, and this is estimated at increasing to 11.8 per cent by 2020.

Wang Guoqiang, deputy director of the National Population and Family Planning Commission of China, said: "1.3 billion is a vast number. It will put great pressure on the economy, society, resources and the environment."

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