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China not pursuing “one child norm:” Vice-Minister

Aarti Dhar

HYDERABAD: Confronted with the problem of declining sex ratio, China is taking steps to reverse the trend by enhancing the status of women and making them equal partners in national development.

Chinese Vice-Minister for the National Population and Family Planning Commission Baige Zhao on the sidelines of the Fourth Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights said here on Tuesday. “We have been implementing a programme, Care for the Girl Project, since 2006. Its aim is to provide social security to families having only girls. It also provides special services to families having pregnant women,” she told reporters.

After the “opening up” of China in 1980s, women were being made equal participants in economic and political development. Every organisation should have a woman and Parliament has 22 per cent reservation for women. However, the emphasis was on creating awareness among people against female foeticide.

Ms. Zhao stressed that China did not pursue “one child norm.” The focus was only on small families and informed choices. “The Total Fertility Rate in China is 1.8, which is primarily seen in the urban areas where people prefer only one child. In the rural areas, people have two but in the minority areas such as Tibet, couples have even more than two children that more or less balances our population,” she said.

The rate of use of contraceptives in China was 83 per cent with 30 per cent opting for sterilisation. Condoms, oral pills and intra-uterine devices were provided free of cost but the government was going carefully on new technologies.

Ms. Zhao said India and China should consider population as a human resource instead of a burden. “The two nations should work as friends and not as competitors to enhance their capabilities to make people contribute for nation- building. IT stands for India Tomorrow,”

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