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Tuesday, 19 December, 2000, 10:57 GMT
China gives one-child families incentives

The Chinese government says it expects its population will peak at about one-point-six billion around the year 2050, using the continued enforcement of its one-child policy. At present, official figures suggest there are about one-and-a-quarter billion Chinese. A document on population policy sets outs new incentives for couples who only have one child, including bonuses, retirement funds and a stronger social security system.

Launching the policy paper, the Director of China's State Family Planning Commission Zhang Weiqing acknowledged that the one-child policy had led to female infanticide and the selective abortion of female foetuses.

But the paper says the policy has helped China avoid more than three-hundred-million births since 1980, allowing rapid economic growth and a dramatic improvement in the quality of life.

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