Chinese Central Bank Frets over Population Change, Calls for Removal of Family Restrictions and Spurring Fertility Rates

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The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has weighed on on matters usually beyond its remit as a monetary authority and central bank by expressing public concern over demographic changes in China.

On 14 April PBOC issued a working paper entitled “Understanding China’s Population Transition and Counter-Measures” (关于我国人口转型的认识和应对之策).

The paper calls for “acknowledging that China’s population conditions have already changed and the population dividends which were once a source of convenience require the subsequent repayment of a debt.”

“[China] must acknowledge that education and technological advances will find it difficult to compensate for population declines,” said the PBOC paper.

To this end the authors of the paper called for “comprehensive opening up [of family planning policy], promptly unleashing a strong willingness to reproduce and encouraging reproduction,” as well as “pragmatically resolving the difficulties of women when it comes to pregnancy and giving birth.”

The paper also pointed out that in future China’s economy will shift from “being driven by factors of production to being innovation drive,” and that this will require “firm, firm support.”

The paper called for establishing a “basic social welfare system” and keeping a lid on urban property prices, in order make people more willing to undertake risk by providing them with basic guarantees when it comes to housing and healthcare.

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