China hints it will scrap its two-child policy

China hints it will scrap its two-child policy
By Daniel Bellamy

China appears set to scrap the limit of two children per couple policy in a bid to deal with an ageing population.

Family life in China may be about to change as the old controversial policy of limiting the number of children could be scrapped.

A state-run newspaper has cited a draft civil code that would mean an end to family planning - Chinese style.

For more than 35 years, the country's women were restricted to having only one child - a policy that was implemented due to population growth and food shortages.

Then in 2016 due to a shrinking workforce the policy was relaxed to two children - any more was punishable with a fine.

But surprisingly the birthrate has fallen and officials are now concerned about a demographic time bomb.

About a quarter of China's population is expected to be at least 60 years old by 2030 and the probability that there won't be enough workers to support them has sounded alarm bells.

Speculation of a change in government thinking was fuelled earlier this month with the release of stamps to mark the year of the pig, featuring a boar and a sow with three piglets.

A new draft code is being discussed this week by the Standing Committee at the National People's Congress and is expected to be complete by 2020.