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China to cap population at 1.37 bln by 2010
Updated: 2005-09-20 10:19

China's population and family planning minister said China would work to limit its mainland population to below 1.37 billion by 2010.

Zhang Weiqing, minister in charge of the National Population and Family Planning Commission (NPFPC), said Friday that China had been working to build a new mechanism featuring management according to law, self-governance of villagers or residents, quality services, policy impetus and comprehensive management as an overall approach towards the population issue during the past few years.

On a workshop held in Qingdao, Zhang stressed that China would keep its family planning policy in place to maintain a low birth rate.

To some extent, China's population growth has been brought under control in the past 30 years, with a steady growth of 100 million people every seven years, postponing China's 1.3-billion Population Day by four years.

According to data released by NPFPC, had China failed to implement the family planning policy, China's population would be nearly 400 million more than the pr besent figure.

Zhang said China should continue to improve its laws governing population in an effort to manage unbalanced sex ratios at birth, reduce birth defect rates, strengthen management of population control medicines and family planning services to eliminate practices that hurt people's legal rights and interests.

He also stressed that work should be done to study population policies focusing on all-round development of people and implement interest-oriented policies to award and assist families practicing family planning.

Starting from 2004, China began to implement a pilot project of "rewarding some rural households practicing family planning." Last year, more than 310,000 farmers in 10 cities of five provinces where the pilot project was implemented received around 200 million yuan (US$24 million) in cash reward for having only one child or two daughters in their families.

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