Experts: 3-child plan may have limited effect

Chinese media have reported that some local experts are saying the country's new policy of allowing couples to have a third child may have limited effects.

The experts were responding to the state-run Xinhua news agency's report on Monday about the new policy announced at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee. Xinhua said the move is aimed at addressing the aging of the country's population.

China pursued a one-child policy for more than three decades to curb rapid population growth. But in 2016, it began allowing married couples to have two children as it faced a shrinking labor force.

More than 18 million babies were born that year, but the figure fell to 12 million in 2020. The limited effects of the looser policy are said to be due to the economic burden of raising children and changing values in society.

The leadership under President Xi Jinping faces social problems stemming from the decrease in the working population and other factors. It apparently wants to halt the graying of the population by easing the two-child policy. But observers say it's unclear how much of an effect this will have on the birthrate.