China’s health authorities suggested that northeastern regional governments assess the impact of fully abolishing limits on the number of births and put forward a pilot program for implementing a comprehensive family planning policy in the region, reported Caixin.
The National Health Commission made the comments Thursday in a response on its website to a proposal by some delegates to the National People’s Congress. They proposed that the northeastern region, known as China’s rust belt with the lowest birth rates in the country, should take the lead in fully removing birth restrictions. Home to about 109 million of China’s 1.4 billion people, the three provinces are Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning, reported Caixin.
China has struggled to arrest the country’s declining birth rate even after easing the policy. The number of newborns in China fell dramatically last year, a sign that the birth rate is continuing to decline and worsening demographic pressures in the rapidly aging nation. There were 10.04 million babies registered with the government in 2020, 14.8% fewer than in 2019, according to data released by the Ministry of Public Security.