Beijing: A state-run Chinese daily on Thursday warned that the existing family planning policy needs to be rejigged to meet the "wave of change" since a staggering 248 million people will be over the age of 60 by 2020.
An article in the Op-Ed section of the Global Times said: "By 2020, 17 percent of China`s population will be over 60 years old, about 248 million people. This will squeeze our public finances and cause severe development problems if the growing numbers of the aged cannot be handled well."
"...we should adjust our existing family planning policy to meet the wave of change. The population will continue to grow until 2030. To avoid plunging numbers after that point, we need to make the adjustment in a short period.”
"If we don`t do it where there`s still room for flexibility, we`ll hit the point where other factors constrain people`s willingness to have kids. Then it`ll be too late to change," it warned.
The article "Shadow of ageing population falls over family planning" was based on an interview with Song Jie, a member of the expert committee of National Population and Family Planning Commission.
China is currently the world`s most populous country, with a population of 1.3 billion.
"Family planning enforcement should say no to forced abortions," the daily said.
It recalled that in the 1980s, "family planning was vigorously carried out nationwide. Violent slogans were common at the time, such as `refusing an abortion will lead to the demolition of your house` and `try to hide your pregnancy and you`ll end up in jail` and so on".
However, these violent slogans have gradually disappeared since the 1990s. Since then, family planning laws have already been relaxed in China, the daily added.
The article pointed out that the current Population and Family Planning Law was published in 2001 and its policies and rules changed gradually from rigid stipulations to a softer approach, and toward a more careful and humane approach.
It was, however, quick to add that from "a macro perspective, it is too radical to deny the achievements of China`s one-child policy because of the forced abortions".