China’s two-child policy is showing “notable results” with the fertility rate expected to rise through to 2020, a senior health official said on Saturday. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of China’s annual meeting of parliament, Wang Peian, vice-minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission said there were “notable results” in 2016, with the largest annual number of newborn babies since 2000. Wang said 18.46 million live births were recorded last year, two million more than the average of the previous five years. The total fertility rate also rose to 1.7 children per woman, compared to 1.5-1.6 between 2000 and 2015, he added. According to Reuters, authorities are now concerned the country’s dwindling workforce will not be able to support an increasingly aging population. In 2015, China said it would allow all married couples to have two children, to address those concerns.
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