SINGAPORE—Chinese officials are drawing up plans to further loosen birth restrictions and transition toward policies that explicitly encourage childbirth, according to people familiar with the matter, reflecting increased urgency in Beijing as economic growth slows and China’s population mix skews older.
Policy makers are discussing the possibility of fully doing away with birth restrictions by 2025, the end of the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s current five-year economic plan, according to one of the people.
According to that person, China will likely begin by eliminating birth restrictions in provinces where the birthrate is the lowest before enacting nationwide changes.
Last month, Chinese leader Xi Jinping told senior party officials that he regards China’s aging population as a threat to national security, calling on senior officials to address the challenge, according to the state-run Xinhua News Agency.
Any loosening of restrictions would likely be seen first in China’s economically depressed northeast, a region that the country’s health authorities hinted in February could take the lead in scrapping all remaining birth restrictions.
Communist, Xinhua News Agency
SINGAPORE, Beijing, China