No stopping birth decline, expert says
The number of births in China is expected to continue to fall this year, despite being the third year since the implementation of a national policy designed to encourage couples to have a second child, according to Zhai Zhenwu, president of the China Population Association. The number of births in China increased in 2016 — a total of 17.86 million, the largest number since 2000. The universal second child policy, introduced to counter a dwindling workforce and an aging of the population, was enacted at the beginning of that year. However, births last year decreased by 630,000, contradicting the predictions of many population experts and prompting many to doubt whether the new policy had any effect.