Implementing the Universal Two-Child Policy and Reforming and Improving the Management of Family Planning Services

 2018-07-01  67


  • Area of Law Population and Family Planning
  • Level of Authority Group Provisions
  • Date issued12-31-2015
  • Effective Date12-31-2015
  • Status Effective
  • Issuing Authority Central Committee of the Communist Party of China State Council

Decision of the Central Committee of the CPC and the State Council on Implementing the Universal Two-Child Policy and Reforming and Improving the Management of Family Planning Services
(December 31, 2015)
Practicing family planning, as the basic national policy, concerns the happy, safe, and healthy life of hundreds of millions of families, the comprehensive building of a moderately prosperous society, and the realization of the “two centenary” goals. For purposes of implementing the spirit of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, and the Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Plenary Sessions of the 18th CPC Central Committee, adapting to the new situation of population and economic and social development, and promoting the long-term balanced development of population, the following decisions are hereby made for comprehensively implementing the policy that a couple may bear two children (hereinafter referred to as the “universal two-child policy”) and further reforming and improving the management of family planning services.
I. Fully understanding the significance of implementing the universal two-child policy and reforming and improving the management of family planning services
1. Remarkable achievements have been made in the family planning work. In the 1950's and 1960's, thanks to economic recovery, social stability, improvement in people's living standard, and enhancement of the medical and health safeguard level, China's total population soared from 540 million at the preliminary stage of New China to 830 million in 1970, which brought about enormous pressure to the economic and social development. To control the excessive growth of population, the state started to carry out family planning in urban and rural areas from the 1970's. In 1980, the CPC Central Committee issued the Open Letter to All Party Members and League Members on Controlling Population Growth in China, advocating that a couple may only bear one child. In 1982, family planning was determined as the basic national policy. Over the 40 odd years, China has implemented comprehensive decision-making for population and development, continuously improved the family planning policy, and formed a path of making overall planning for the solution of population problems with Chinese characteristics. Excessive growth of population has been effectively controlled, the pressure on the resources and the environment has been effectively alleviated, the status of development of women and children has been greatly improved, and the quality of population has been significantly improved, which has promoted high-speed economic development and social progress, vigorously supported the reform and opening up and the course of socialist modernization, and laid a solid foundation for the comprehensive building of a moderately prosperous society. In practicing family planning, China has also made significant contribution to the population development and poverty reduction in the world, and established a sound image of a responsible great power. During the process, hundreds of millions of people actively responded to the call of the Party and state, consciously practiced family planning, and had made great contributions; and the numerous population and family planning workers have made painstaking efforts. Practice has proved that practicing family planning which conforms to China's national conditions is right, has obtained people's understanding and support, and is a great cause of making the country powerful, making people well-off, and bringing peace to the whole country.
2. Significant transitional changes have occurred to China's population development. The population problem has always been a fundamental, overall and strategic problem facing the human society. The tendency change in population will result in comprehensive, profound and far-reaching impact on the economic and social development. Since the beginning of the 21st century, especially the “twelfth five-year” period, the internal impetus and the external conditions of China's population development has witnessed significant changes. The growth momentum of total population significantly weakened, working-age population and women of childbearing age began to decline, and the degree of aging constantly deepened; people's concept of childbearing had significantly changed, and fewer and healthier birth had become the main concept of childbearing in the society; family size was becoming smaller, and the function of provision for children and parents weakened; and demographic dividend reduced, and the advantage of international competition with human capital as the core needed to be further strengthened. These changes have brought about new challenges to the population security and the economic and social development. We shall also clearly see that by the middle of this century, China's total population will remain above 1.3 billion, China's basic national condition of large population will not be fundamentally changed, the pressure of population on the economic and social development will not be fundamentally changed, the scarcity of resources and environment will not be fundamentally changed due to the large population. At present, China is in a critical period of transition from a population power to a power of human capital. We shall start from the overall situation and the strategic perspective, fully understand the importance and long-term nature of adhering to the basic national policy of family planning, base upon the national conditions, follow the discipline, correctly handle the relationship between current and long-term situation, gross population and population structure, population and resources and environment, gradually adjust and improve the childbearing policy, promote the long-term balanced development of population, maximize the dynamic role of population in the economic and social development, and firmly grasp the strategic initiative.
3. Implementing the universal two-child policy and reforming and improving the management of family planning services is a major strategic deployment for adhering to the basic national policy of family planning under the new situation. At the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, the major decision of adhering to the basic national policy of family planning and implementing the two-child policy for couples where either the husband or the wife is from a single-child family was made. Through reliable, solid, and orderly implementation of the two-child policy for couples where either the husband or the wife is from a single-child family, experience has been accumulated for further adjusting and improving the childbearing policy. Therefore, the conditions for implementing the universal two-child policy are currently satisfied and the time is right now. Implementing the universal two-child policy and reforming and improving the management of family planning services is an important measure for promoting the long-term balanced development of population, and helps to optimize the population structure, increase labor supply, and ease pressure from the aging population; helps promote the sustainable and sound development of the economy and society, and realize the goal of comprehensively building a moderately prosperous society; and helps better implement the basic national policy of family planning, and promote family happiness and social harmony. The Party committees and governments at all levels shall fully understand the significance of implementing the universal two-child policy and reforming and improving the management of family planning services, enhance the sense of responsibility and mission, and constantly explore the systems and mechanisms, and the ways and methods for the implementation of the basic national policy of family planning under the new situation by using the thinking of the rule of law, the spirit of innovation, and the pragmatic style, to make family planning a sweet career benefiting millions of families.
II. Guiding thought, basic principles, and main objectives
4. Guiding thought
The great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics shall be held high, the spirit of the Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Plenary Sessions of the 18th CPC Central Committee shall be comprehensively implemented, the guidance of the Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important thoughts of “Three Represents,” and the Scientific Outlook on Development shall be followed, the spirit of a series of important speeches delivered by the General Secretary Xi Jinping shall be profoundly implemented, the strategic blueprint of “Four Comprehensives” with enhancing the harmonious happiness of families and promoting the long-term balanced development of population as the main line shall be adhered to, the basic national policy of family planning shall be adhered to, and the overall plans to promote the comprehensive reform of the childbearing policy, the service management system, the system of supporting the development of families, and governance mechanism shall be developed, to strive to realize balanced development of population that is featured by moderate scale, high quality, optimized structure, and reasonable distribution, promote the coordinated and sustainable development of population and the resources and environment, and provide a solid foundation and enduring power for realizing the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation.
5. Basic principles
-- Being people-oriented. The dominant positions of families in family planning shall be respected, the equality between rights and obligations shall be adhered to, management shall be focused on providing services, and the masses shall be guided to be responsible and bear children as planned.
-- Innovative development. The transition of the population and family planning work from mainly controlling the population size to simultaneously promoting the control of the total size, the improvement in population quality, and the optimization of the structure, from mainly conducting management to paying more attention to serving families, and from mainly relying on the force of the government to shared governance by the government, the society, and the people shall be promoted.
-- Led by rule of law. The role of legislation in guiding, regulating, and protecting the improvement in the childbearing policy and the reform of service management shall be fully maximized, strict, standardized, fair, and civilized law enforcement shall be adhered to, and the level of rule of law concerning family planning shall be constantly improved.
-- Making overall plan for promotion. The systematicness, integrity, and synergy of the reform measures shall be focused on, to ensure that the reform of service management is concurrently promoted and the supporting policies and measures are concurrently developed, when the childbearing policy is adjusted and improved.
6. Major objectives
By 2020, the rules on the management of family planning services and the family development supporting system shall be relatively perfect, a pattern of shared governance by multiple parties under which the government performs the duties according to the law, the public extensively participates therein, and the masses are faithful and self-disciplined shall be basically formed, and the family planning governance capability shall be comprehensively improved; the service system of maternal and child health care and family planning featuring coverage in both rural and urban areas, rational layout, complete functions, and convenience and high efficiency shall be more perfect, the objective that everyone enjoys high-quality family planning services shall be basically realized, the implementation of the 2030 sustainable development agenda of the United Nations shall be promoted; and a moderate childbearing level shall be maintained and the total population size shall be controlled within the planning objective.
III. Reliably, solidly, and orderly implementing the universal two-child policy
7. Organizing the implementation of the universal two-child policy according to the law. The newly revised Law of the People's Republic of China on Population and Family Planning shall be implemented, and the relevant administrative regulations and local laws and regulations shall be improved. The universal two-child policy shall come into force in 2016. The governments of all provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government) shall comprehensively evaluate the development situation of local population, the basis of the family planning work, and the policy implementation risks, scientifically develop the implementation plans, and submit them to the regulatory department under the State Council for recordation, to ensure smooth implementation of the policy and prevention of substantial fluctuation of the childbearing level.
8. Reforming the childbearing service management system. The childbearing registration service system shall be implemented. A couple who gives birth to less than 2 (inclusive) children may independently arrange childbearing, without being subject to approval. The management of childbearing under such circumstances as remarriage shall be improved. The affairs handling procedures shall be optimized, the handling formalities shall be simplified, and online affairs handling shall be comprehensively promoted, for further simplification of administration and convenience of the people. Those who give birth to more children in violation of the policy shall be investigated and handled according to the law and regulations.
9. Strengthening the monitoring and forecast of newly-born population. The investigation of population change shall be strengthened, the changing trend of newly-born population shall be predicted in a scientific manner, and a monitoring and early warning mechanism for newly-born population shall be established. The construction of the basic national population information database and the information technology for population health shall be promoted in an accelerated manner, and connectivity between the national and provincial levels on the information on population and family planning shall be realized, and sharing of information on household management, marriage, population health, education, and social security, among others, shall be realized.
10. Rationally allocating the public service resources. According to the needs of childbearing services and population changes, resources for maternal and child health care, care of children, pre-school, primary and secondary education, and social security, among others, shall be allocated rationally, to meet the needs of newly increased public services. Social forces shall be directed and encouraged to open non-profit women and children hospitals, inclusive nurseries and kindergartens, and other service institutions.
IV. Vigorously promoting the management level of family planning services
11. Strengthening family planning services for the health of women and children. The comprehensive services of good prenatal and postnatal care shall be promoted, prenatal health examinations shall be provided, and health-care services during the pregnant and perinatal period and comprehensive prevention and control of birth defects shall be strengthened, to improve the quality of newly-born population. Necessary assisted reproductive technology and services shall be provided to infertile persons and other persons with reproductive difficulties. The standardized construction and management of the maternal and child health care and family planning service institutions shall be promoted, and the capacity-building for the treatment of critical illnesses of pregnant and parturient women and newborns shall be strengthened. The training of obstetric and pediatric doctors, midwives and nurses shall be accelerated, the service prices shall be reasonably determined, and preferential policies on salary distribution and other respects shall be increased. Informed choice shall be comprehensively promoted, safe, effective, and appropriate contraceptive services shall be provided to people of childbearing age, and the fairness and accessibility of services shall be enhanced. Basic research and technological innovation shall be strengthened, and new contraceptive, prenatal and postnatal care, and reproductive health care technologies and products shall be developed and promoted.
12. Promoting the equalization of basic public health and family planning services for transient population. According to the service resources for permanent population, transient population shall be incorporated into the scope of basic urban public health and family planning services. A working mechanism of "coordinating all the activities of the nation like moves in a chess game" concerning information exchange, complementary services, and interactive management for transient population shall be consolidated and improved. Verification and sharing of online information shall be promoted, to effectively provide childbearing registration services of transient population at their places of residence. Extensive popularizing and publicizing scientific knowledge on reproductive health shall be carried out, and the self-health care consciousness and protective capability of transient population and other groups of people shall be enhanced. Solicitude shall be showed for transient population and groups of people left-behind, to promote social integration.
13. Strengthening the grassroots basic work. A long-term effective family planning working mechanism which is characterized by publicity and advocacy, management according to the law, high-quality services, policy promotion, and comprehensive treatment shall be improved. The activities of setting up advanced entities providing high-quality childbearing services shall be carried out in an in-depth manner. A comprehensive health and family planning supervision and administrative law enforcement system shall be established and improved, and the capacity building for the management of family planning services shall be strengthened. The work force of family planning at the county and township level shall be stabilized and strengthened, and such problems as remuneration and pension security of staff members for family planning at the village level shall be appropriately resolved.
14. Fully maximizing the role of social organizations. Cooperative governance by the government and the society shall be strengthened, and the labor unions, the Communist Youth League, women's unions, and other mass organization and other social organizations shall jointly and effectively conduct the family planning work. The role of the Family Planning Association as a new force shall be fully maximized, and the organization and capacity building of family planning associations at the county and township level shall be effectively strengthened, to make them better undertake publicity and education, reproductive health consulting services, guidance for good prenatal and postnatal care, assistance in family planning families, rights and interests maintenance, and services for transient population, among others. Social organizations shall be encouraged to carry out public welfare and charity, and support activities of population and family planning. In urban and rural communities, enterprises and public institutions, the masses shall be directed to extensively carry out self-management, self-service, self-education, and self-supervision for family planning.
V. Establishing a family development supporting system conducive to family planning
15. Increasing support for households practicing family planning. The lawful rights and interests of households practicing family planning shall be effectively protected, to give priority to their sharing of the achievements of reform and development. All reward-and-support policies shall be continuously implemented, and preference in social security, collective income distribution, employment and business start-up, new rural construction, and other respects shall be provided to single child households and two-girl households practicing family planning in rural areas before policy adjustment. The reward-and-support system and special support system for households practicing family planning shall be improved, and the support standards shall be subject to dynamic adjustment. Households practicing family planning with special difficulty shall be assisted, and their problems such as life care, pension security, treatment of serious illnesses, and spiritual consolation shall be appropriately resolved. The combination of family planning and poverty alleviation and development shall be promoted, and the “fewer children equals faster prosperity” projects shall be continuously implemented. Rewards and incentives, and other preferential policies for single-child parents and other policies shall no longer be available to couples who volunteer to have only one child after the policy adjustment.
16. Enhancing families' function of support the young and provide for the age. Family development policies including childbearing support, infant parenting, adolescent development, support for the elderly, and sick care, among others, shall be established and improved. The family planning award leave system shall be improved. Community infant care, day-time care of senior citizens, home-based care for the aged, and other service functions shall be enhanced. The combination of medical treatment and public health, and pension services shall be promoted, and explorations shall be made to establish a long-term care insurance system. The assistance and support for families of persons with disabilities, poverty-stricken families, and senior citizens living alone shall be increased. The activities of forming happy families and new family planning shall be extensively carried out.
17. Promoting gender equality. Activities of caring for girls shall be carried in an in-depth manner and a social environment favorable for growth and success of girls shall be created. The problem of high ratio between male and female children born shall be comprehensively solved, and identification of the gender of a fetus and aborting a pregnancy based on the gender of a fetus without medical needs shall be strictly prohibited. Women's right of succession to collectively-owned house sites, houses, and other property and land contracting rights shall be protected according to the law. Women's lawful rights and interests in employment, and vacation, among others, shall be protected according to the law, women shall be supported in getting back to work after giving birth to children, and employees shall be encouraged to develop measures that help employees balance the relationship between work and family.
VI. Effectively strengthening organization and leadership
18. Implementing the responsibilities of the Party and governments. The Party committees and governments at all levels shall adhere to the principle that the chief person in charge shall direct family planning in person and assume overall responsibility, regard implementing the universal two-child policy and reforming and improving the management of family planning services as an important task for comprehensive deepening of reform, and strengthen overall planning, policy coordination, and implementation of the work. They shall adhere to and improve the objective management responsibility system for family planning, to ensure effective fulfillment of responsibilities, implementation of measures, and full investment. The “one-vote veto” system shall be implemented under the circumstances that the main objectives and tasks of the population and family planning work are not completed, serious fraud is practiced, illegal administration leads to adverse effects.
19. Strengthening departmental collaboration. The system of part-time members and leading group for family planning shall be further improved. A mechanism for the evaluation of major economic and social policies on population development shall be established and improved, to promote effective integration between relevant economic and social policies and family planning policies. All relevant departments shall diligently perform their duties, focus on solving such problems as supporting policies, public service assurance, law enforcement coordination, and information exchange, and strengthen the guidance for the work in all localities.
20. Deepening the study on population development strategies. In-depth study on the interaction between population and economy, society, resources and environment, and the changing trend of population size, quality, structure, and distribution shall be conducted, prospective study shall be strengthened, the population development strategy shall be improved, and medium- and long-term plans shall be developed. The impact of economic growth and social development on childbearing acts shall be evaluated in a scientific manner, and the changing situation of the childbearing level shall be accurately studied and judged, for effective policy reserves. International comparative study on population development shall be strengthened, to promote international exchanges and cooperation.
21. Conducting effective publicity and public opinion guidance. All localities and departments shall unify their ideas and actions in the policies and arrangements of the central government, vigorously promote the great achievements made in family planning, and effectively conduct interpretation for the implementation of the universal two-child policy. The education of basic national conditions on population and basic national policies on family planning shall be strengthened, to constantly enhance the awareness of the public on the national conditions and the national policy. The positive experiences and practices in the reform of family planning service management shall be summarized and promoted, and the advanced entities and individuals shall be commended. Public opinion shall be correctly guided, to create a favorable atmosphere supporting the implementation of the policies, reform and innovation.
22. Strengthening supervision and implementation. All localities and departments shall, as required by this Decision, specify the reform tasks and the implementation steps. They shall strengthen the follow-up evaluation of all reform measures, to discover and solve the problems reflecting the trends and tendencies of reform in a timely manner. The Party committees and governments in all provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government) shall develop special reports on an annual basis to report to the central authority the information on the family planning work, and the central authority shall carry out supervision on a regular basis.