It's been a harsh symbol of state control for decades. Now China's infamous families planning policy could be headed for the scrap hip. Government researchers this week, announcing the country made relaxed or even throw out restrictions on how many kids a couple can have. But as Reuters' Christian Shepard reports, it's not yet a done deal.
>> There's very much still a debate within leadership as to whether or not they want to abolish or further loosen restrictions on childbirth. The recent report suggested that if they don't do this, then it could bring about enormous economic consequences in the future. However authorities have warned previously that if they were to loosen the policy too quickly, then they might not have the resources, particularly in healthcare or in education to deal with a rapid increase in the population.
>> Beijing recently loosened its one child policy. Allowing couples to have a second kid. But the country's still has one of the world's lowest birth rates and the spacing demographic time bomb is the populations ages and the workforce shrinks. More young people would mean a big boost in consumption, more enhance to care for parents and grand parents and more workers.
But critics say scrapping family planning isn't a cut and dry solution because even if Beijing changes its policy, that doesn't mean couples will change their minds about how many kids they want.>> Particularly younger families in the cities they're worried about the economic burden of having a second child.
China's cities are now very expensive and it's already tough for them to raise one child, let alone a second.>> Many of the 90 million couples who became eligible to have a second child this year haven't yet jumped at the opportunity.>>