Beijing: China on Friday admitted that its people had to pay high price for its three-decade old one-child policy which it recently abolished, but maintained that it helped in checking population growth.
The one-child policy which was scrapped this year and replaced with permission to have second child will have its place in the history but the people had to pay high price for its implementation, said Fu Ying, spokesperson for China's legislature, the National People's Congress (NPC).
While the one-child policy checked the population growth, individuals had to suffer, she said.
Chinese officials claim the policy has prevented over 400 million births during three and half decades.
China's population policy change is timely and proper as the nationwide two-child policy took effect on January 1, she said.
The government will address ageing problems of the society, Fu said.
The one-child policy largely was attributed to for the current demographic crisis being faced by China.
According to the latest figures, the number of people aged 60 or over in China has reached 212 million at the end of 2014, accounting for 15.5 per cent of the country's population, with the number of disabled elderly people approaching 40 million.
The United Nations has predicted that people over age 65 will account for 18 per cent of China's population by 2030, double the number in 2011 which will have a negative bearing on China's labour availability.
By 2050, China is expected to have nearly 500 million people over 60, exceeding the population of the US.