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China to maintain its family planning policy: official

China will adhere to its family planning policy so as to maintain a low reproduction rate, said the country's family planning chief on Sunday, expected to be the eve of the world's population reaching seven billion. "Over-population remains one of the major challenges to social and economic development," said Li Bin, director of the State Population and Family Planning Commission in an exclusive interview with Xinhua, adding that the population of China will hit 1.45 billion in 2020. Li said maintaining and improving the existing family planning policy and keeping a low reproduction rate, along with addressing the issues of gender imbalance and an aging population, will be the major tasks in the future. Li's words came just one day before Oct. 31, the day on which the United Nations estimates the world's population will reach seven billion. Zhai Zhenwu, a leading Chinese demographer, said earlier in the past week that China's family planning policy had postponed this day for at least five years, as it prevented 400 million people from being added to the country's population, which is 1.34 billion at present. "The population of China would have hit 1.7 billion had it not been for the family planning policy, and it would have created more difficulties for society," said Li. Read on: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2011-10/30/c_131220403.htm

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