China says family planning controls still needed despite latest easing of 1-child policy

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A government spokesman says Beijing has no intention of abandoning family planning controls soon despite its latest easing of the one-child policy, but that it could be further loosened in the future.

National Health and Family Planning Commission Spokesman Mao Qunan told foreign reporters during a briefing Tuesday that keeping birth rates low remains a long-term priority for the country's development.

Mao says he expects the central government to continue to adjust family planning controls according to population changes and public demands.

The Communist Party announced last Friday that it would ease its one-child policy to allow couples to have two children if one of the parents is a single child.

The government credits the policy with preventing millions of births and helping lift countless families out of poverty.