China considers lifting all birth restrictions by 2025

File photo: People wearing face masks walk at a public park in Beijing. Image Credit: AP

Chinese officials are planning to ease birth restrictions further and are considering possibly doing away with all of them by 2025, Dow Jones reported, citing people it didn’t identify who are familiar with the matter.

Authorities will likely begin by eliminating restrictions in provinces where the birthrates are the lowest, the news organisation reported. The plans being drawn up would include policies to explicitly encourage childbirth, it said.

Beijing last month eased a previous two-child limit, allowing all couples to have a third child as it tries to slow the nation’s declining birthrate. However, economists and demographers say the reforms are too little too late and won’t be able to prevent an eventual decline in the population.

Researchers at the central bank earlier this year called for birth limits to be abolished entirely. The debate was intensified after the results of China’s latest national census showed the lowest number of births in almost 60 years last year and a decline in the country’s working-age population over the past decade.