China to allow a three-child policy - Whisper Eye

China to allow a three-child policy

Speculation is mounting in China that the country is set to further relax its two-child policy and allow people to have more children.

Postage stamps unveiled earlier this week to mark the incoming Year of the Pig in February 2019 have led many social media users to question whether a loosening of family planning restrictions could be imminent.

The stamps show a parent pig couple and three piglets.

On the surface, it hardly appears to be a policy announcement.

But users on the popular Sina Weibo microblog have pointed out that two years ago, before the one-child policy was abolished, China issued Year of the Monkey stamps featuring two baby monkeys.

And in recent months, the Chinese government has been strongly encouraging couples to have more than one child. Local authorities have even been offering incentives, such as tax breaks, and education and housing subsidies.

State media have also been suggesting that change is on the horizon.

The China Times newspaper said in a recent editorial that the two-child policy is “not effectively increasing the national fertility rate”.

The controversial one-child policy was first introduced in 1979 and finally abolished in late 2015.

But parents have been slow to take advantage of the two-child policy that replaced it and many young Chinese say that they would struggle to afford having one child – let alone two or more.