China adopts law amendment allowing couples to have 3 children

Xinhua Updated: 2021-08-23

BEIJING -- Lawmakers on Friday passed a law amendment that allows each couple to have three children and stipulates supportive measures for the new policy.

The amendment to the Population and Family Planning Law was passed at a session of the National People's Congress Standing Committee.

It cancels relevant restrictive measures, including fines for couples who violate the law to have more children than they are permitted.

It also stipulates supportive measures for the policy shift, including the exploration of parental leave and the establishment of more nursery facilities in public areas and workplaces.

The country will roll out more supportive measures in terms of finance, taxation, insurance, education, housing and employment, to ease the burden on families in terms of childbearing, childcare and education, according to the amendment.

The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council adopted a decision in late June that unveiled details of the three-child policy and supportive measures encouraging births.

The law was amended to implement the principles of the fifth plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee and the requirements of the decision, according to an explanatory document.

Chinese people aged 60 or above accounted for 18.7 percent of the country's total population in 2020, 5.44 percentage points higher than in 2010, according to the latest census data.

The country also has over 300 million women of childbearing age, census data shows.

The new law amendment stipulates that the legitimate rights and interests of women in employment will be protected, and they will be offered employment services if their job is affected due to childbearing.

China will continue to implement its current reward and assistance system and preferential policies for one-child families. The elderly in such families will be given preferential treatment in terms of welfare benefits and elderly care services, according to the amendment.

The Population and Family Planning Law was enacted in 2002 and revised in 2015, when China's two-child policy was fully implemented.

The shift to the two-child policy has resulted in the births of over 10 million more second children in the country, according to census data.

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