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China to keep population below 1.37b
Updated: 2006-01-07 09:37

China's population and family planning minister said here on Friday that China will work to limit its mainland population below 1.37 billion by 2010.

Zhang Weiqing, minister in charge of the National Population and Family Planning Commission, stressed that China will keep its family planning policy in place to maintain a low birth level.

"But demographically speaking, China will face another upsurge of population growth in the coming five years, and China's first single-child generation is about to enter reproductive age then, which make it all the more difficult to maintain a low birth level in the coming years," said Zhang.

Statistics from the commission show that China's population has been brought under control in the past 5 years, with birth rate and natural growth rate dropped from 14.03 per thousand to 12.29 per thousand and 7.58 per thousand to 5.87 per thousand respectively.

According to data released by commission, given China failed to implement the family planning policy, China's population would be nearly 400 million more than the present figure.

Zhang said China will continue to improve its legal system on population in an effort to work out laws and regulations to manage unbalanced sex ratio at birth.

Government figures show 119 boys are born for every 100 girls in the world's most populous nation. About 40 million men may live as frustrated bachelors by 2020.

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