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Motions, proposals for China’s 2023 two sessions focus on boosting birth rate
Published on: 2023-03-03
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Many motions and proposals submitted for China's annual two sessions, which are scheduled to kick off at the weekend, focus on boosting the low birth rate, after the Chinese mainland recorded negative population growth in 2022, the first time in 61 years. Suggestions include scrapping the requirement to be legally married to register and give birth, and granting children born to unmarried parents equal rights.

Xie Wenmin, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), is going to submit a proposal to do away with the need to be married to give birth, and to allow all the newborns to be eligible for household registration, no matter the circumstances of their birth. This means that unmarried parents, or those who have more than three children, would be able to register their children legally.

She also called to grant equal rights to children born to unmarried parents, such as schooling, healthcare and employment, according to her proposal which was viewed by the Global Times on Wednesday.

In China, before women can have access to birth-related services or enjoy preferential policies including birth insurance, they should first of all register the births of their children and the number of their children. Getting married is a premise for this registration.

Some of China's most populous and prosperous provinces and regions, including South China's Guangdong, Southwest China's Sichuan and East China's Shanghai, are among the forerunners to have already canceled such restrictions.

The first session of the 14th National People's Congress is scheduled to open on March 5, and the first session of the 14th CPPCC National Committee is set to begin on March 4.

Boosting the birth rate is a hot topic for this year's two sessions. Yang Xiaoqin, a CPPCC member from Sichuan Province, proposed exempting all medical fees related to childbirth and slashing mortgage rates for families with three children.

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