国家卫计委:调整生育政策不代表放开“二胎” – Family-planning adjustment isn’t an invitation to bring on the second kid

调整生育政策不代表放开二胎

近日,国家卫生和计划生育委员会党组下发通知印发“服务百姓健康行动”实施计划,其中提到“完善生育政策,适时出台调整方案”,引发了社会的广泛关注。不过,国家卫生计生委宣传司司长、新闻发言人毛群安表示,“如果把调整‘生育政策’简单地理解为二胎又有放开的迹像这明显是不正确的。”

“完善生育政策,适时出台调整方案”被部分媒体报导与放开“二胎”政策联系起来。近年来,在低生育率和人口老龄化加速的社会大趋势下,有学者提出逐步放开二胎政策,例如可从“单独二胎”开始。“单独二胎”是指夫妻双方一方为独生子女的可生育第二胎。

而据国家卫生计生委网站8月2日消息,对此,国家卫生计生委宣传司司长、新闻发言人毛群安表示必须长期坚持计划生育基本国策不动摇。

毛群安表示,在今后相当长的历史时期,人口多、底子薄,人均资源占有量较少,环境容量不足,发展不平衡,仍然是我国的基本国情,人口对经济、社会、资源、环境的压力将长期存在。必须长期坚持计划生育基本国策不动摇。

同时,毛群安称,“完善生育政策”是国家卫生计生委的一项重要职责。完善生育政策既要考虑维持我国的低生育水平,又要考虑群众的生育意愿、经济社会发展和人口结构变化等诸多因素。因此,“我委正在组织调研人口数量、素质、结构和分布的关系,研究提出完善政策的思路和方案。”

不少媒体都把上述发言解读为这是“单独二胎”政策是否放开正在研究当中的信息。

不过,据《北京晨报》8月7日报导,毛群安进一步澄清称,现在很多人把生几个孩子狭义地理解为生育政策,事实上,生育政策包括非常庞杂的内容,“如果把调整‘生育政策’简单地理解为二胎又有放开的迹像这明显是不正确的,这和是否放开单独二胎或者二胎政策不是一回事。”

“完善生育政策”并非新提法

据前述《北京晨报》报导,人口学家、北京大学社会学系教授陆杰华指出,人口计生政策调整与坚持计划生育基本国策并不矛盾,而且“逐步完善政策”并不意味着要“放开二胎”。他还指出,完善生育政策并非新的提法,早在人口发展十二五规划中已提出类似说法。

据瞭解,《国家人口发展“十二五”规划》、国家卫生计生委“三定”方案中,均提到要逐步“完善生育政策”。

2013年6月25日,国家卫生计生委组建后举办首期在线访谈,并在其新浪官方微博“@健康中国”上直播,众多网友评论仍围绕着计生问题,包括“失独”如何解决、能否放开单独夫妇生育二胎等。

例如,有网友问及,在卫生和计划生育事业中长期规划中生育政策的完善如何体现?对此,国家卫生计生委规划信息司司长侯岩回应,在现行生育政策条件下,人口增长的态势进一步减弱,但预计未来20年我国人口总量仍将继续惯性增长,人口与资源、环境及经济社会协调发展的矛盾将进一步显现。因此,国务院已经下发的人口发展“十二五”规划,把“坚持计划生育国策,稳定低生育水平”作为“十二五”时期人口发展八项任务之首。

侯岩表示,“我们将根据国家人口发展战略,逐步完善计划生育政策体系,落实国家人口发展规划中的有关任务,促进计划生育工作与经济社会发展水平相协调、与资源环境承载能力相适应。”

2012年劳动年龄人口数量出现下降

据前述《北京晨报》报导,陆杰华认为,根据目前的人口形势,我国生育政策已经迎来调整窗口期,原因是我国已长期处于低生育水平,人口老龄化日益严重,劳动年龄人口出现下降。

国家统计局发布的2012年国民经济和社会发展统计公报显示,中国劳动年龄人口在2012年出现了相当长时期以来绝对数量的第一次下降。2012年中国15岁至59岁的劳动年龄人口数量为9.37亿人,比上年末减少345万人,下降幅度为0.6个百分点。与此同时,2012年,60周岁及以上人口为1.9亿人,占总人口的14.3%,比上年末提高0.59个百分点。

在国新办举行的新闻发布会上,国家统计局局长马建堂也特地提出,建议媒体关注劳动年龄人口下降的数据,“中国15岁以上不满60周岁的劳动年龄人口,在比较长的一段时间,至少在2030年以前,我想应该是稳步地、逐步地有所减少。”

“你说是不是我对这个问题有忧虑,我也不否认。”马建堂说,经过了几十年的计划生育以后,中国的人口和劳动力供应格局出现了一些变化。他认为,“在坚持计划生育政策这个国策的同时,根据新形势的变化,研究适当的科学的人口政策也是很必要的。”

The revision in the family planning policy does not indicate that the birth of second children is permitted.

Recently, the National Board of Health and Family Planning issued notice that “the health service” would implement a “perfect family planning policy and issue a revised bill in due course”, which attracted widespread attention. However, the board’s publicity secretary and news spokesperson Mao Qunan stated, “It would be a mistake to interpret this revision in ‘family planning policy’ as indication that the second child policy will be opened up.”

This promise to implement a “perfect family planning policy and issue a revised bill in due course” was interpreted by the media as the impending release of a policy allowing families to have a second child. In the current climate of a society with a low birth rate and a rapidly ageing population, some scholars have proposed phasing in a policy that allows a second child, for example by starting with permitting couples who have no siblings to have a second child.

According to news issued by the National Board of Health and Family Planning’s website on the 2nd of August, its publicity secretary and news spokesperson Mao Qunan stated that its fundamental national family planning policy must be adhered to long term.

Mao Qunan stated that for the foreseeable future, the fundamental state of the nation will still consist of a large, inadequately supported population, less resources per capita, insufficient environmental capacity and uneven development. The stress that the population has on the economy, society, resources and the environment will be present for a long time. The fundamental national family planning policy must be adhered to long term.

At the same time, Mao Qunan stated, a “perfect family planning policy” was an important responsibility of the National Board of Health and Family Planning. A perfect family planning policy must consider maintaining China’s low birth rate, as well as a good deal of other factors such as the people’s desire to raise children, social and economic development, and demographic changes. Therefore, “The board is currently organising research into the relationships between the quantity, nature, composition and distribution of the population so that the grounds for the perfect policy can be discovered.”

A lot of the news media took the above quote mean that research was underway to decide whether a policy permitting couples who have no siblings to have a second child should be implemented.

However, according to a report in the “Beijing Morning Post” on the 7th of August, Mao Qunan clarified things further, saying that a lot of people consider that family planning policy is all about the number of births. In fact, it’s far more than just this. “It would be a mistake to interpret this revision in ‘family planning policy’ as indication that the second child policy will be opened up. It is not the same as just deciding whether or not to implement a policy permitting second births.”

“Perfecting the family planning policy” really isn’t anything new.

According to the aforementioned report of the “Beijing Morning Post”, Lu Jiehua, demographer and Peking University sociology professor, pointed out that adjusting the family planning policy and persisting with the basic national policy on it is not contradictory. Additionally, “progressively improving the policy” simply does not imply that the policy on second child births will be opened up. He also noted that “perfecting the family planning policy” really isn’t anything new. A similar argument has been made in the Twelfth Five-Year Plan with regards to population development.

From my understanding, the “‘Twelfth Five-Year’ Plan with regards to population development” and the National Board of Health and Family Planning’s “three rules” proposal all mention progressively “improving the family planning policy”.

On the 25th of June 2013, straight after the National Board of Health and Family Planning was established, it held its first round of online interviews, and made a live broadcast from its official post on Weibo “@Healthy China“. Many web users comments still surrounded the one child policy, including topics such as how the situation of parents losing an only child should be dealt with and whether couples who are themselves only children could have a second child.

For example, a web user asked how improvements in family planning policy would be reflected in the mid to long term plans of the National Board of Health and Family Planning. In response, the National Board of Health and Family Planning’s news secretary Hou Yan said that although under the current birth policy the growth in the population had fallen off, he expected that in the next 20 years it would continue to increase and that further discrepancies would appear between the population and it’s resources, environment and economy. Therefore, the State Council took “persevering with the national family planning policy” as priority of its “Twelfth Five-Year” plan regarding population development.

Hou Yan said, “We will in accordance with the national policy on population development improve step by step the family planning policy system, implement policies related to the population policy, and also promote family planning and coordinated economic and social development whilst not over-stretching resources and the environment.”

The decline in the working-age population in 2012

According to a report in the “Beijing Morning Post”, Lu Jiehua believes that under the current population climate, China’s birth policy has already ushered in an intermediary adjustment phase. This is due to China having a low birth rate for a long period of time, causing an increasingly serious ageing of the population and a decline in the working-age population.

In 2012, the national economic and social development figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics showed that in 2012 China’s working-age population experienced its first absolute decline in a long time. In 2012, China’s working population of 15-59 years olds stood at 937 million, which was a reduction of 3.45 million from the end of the previous year, representing a 0.6% decrease. At the same time, the over-60 population stood at 190 million, which was 14.3% of the total population, representing a 0.59% increase from the year prior.

In a press conference held by the State Council Information Office, head of the National Bureau of Statistics Ma Jiantang specifically pointed out that the media should pay attention to the falling figures of the working-age population, “I think that the working-age population from 15 to 59 will reduce stably over a relatively long period of time up to at least 2030.”

“You asked me whether this issue concerns me. I can’t deny that it does.” Ma Jiantang said that after decades of family planning, the composition of China’s population and labour supply had seen some changes. He believes, “At the same time as persevering with the one child policy, it will also be necessary to research appropriate scientific policies on population in accordance with the latest situation.”

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This week on Marco Polo Project – June 12-18 | Marco Polo Project blogreply
July 18, 2014 at 11:06 am

[…] When the government announced a revision to the family planning regulations last year, some commentators expected the end of the one child policy – not so, explains journalist Zong He in Family planning adjustment is not an invitation to bring on the second kid. […]

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August 3, 2018 at 4:33 am

Original translation by Simon Cooper