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China wants its people to have more babies

A child poses for photos near a mural depicting Winnie the Pooh in Shanghai, China, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018. Marc Forster's "Christopher Robin" the movie which stars Ewan McGregor as a grown-up Christopher Robin reunited with the beloved characters of the
A child poses for photos near a mural depicting Winnie the Pooh in Shanghai, China, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018. Marc Forster's "Christopher Robin" the movie which stars Ewan McGregor as a grown-up Christopher Robin reunited with the beloved characters of the Hundred Acre Wood: Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, has been denied a release in China, locking the release out from the world's second largest film market. (AP Photo)
Herb Scribner, AP

SALT LAKE CITY — China wants its people to have more babies.

The country appears to be walking back a decades-old policy that aimed to limit its population, hoping to see a reversal of its dwindling birthrate, according to CNN.

The country held a one-child policy until 2015, when the policy “was partially relaxed to allow some couples to have two children, but families have been slow to embrace official approval to expand,” CNN reported.

A state-run newspaper shared a guest opinion piece that encouraged couples to have more children. It also called for young people to have more babies.

The article, published in the People’s Daily, which is often seen as the newspaper for the Chinese Communist Party, inspired millions of comments online.

Reports from the last few months point to China’s State Council scrapping its baby limits entirely by the end of the year.

But it’s not just op-eds and rumors. China released a new stamp last week for the upcoming Year of the Pig. Noticeably, the stamp includes a male and female pig with three young babies. This might be a nod of approval for three-child families, according to The Wall Street Journal.

In 2016, China released a stamp for the Year of the Monkey that included two baby monkeys, a sign of the changing one-child policy into a two-child policy.

Of course China’s two-child policy created unintended consequences in the country’s labor market, according to The Economist. Specifically, companies felt reluctant to pay for multiple maternity leaves for working women. This led to these companies deciding to avoid hiring young women.

There’s no guarantee China will see a baby boom if there’s no child policy, according to Quartz. China saw a spike in births after the two-child policy began, seeing an 11.6 percent increase from the year before (18.46 million live births in 2016)

But then, the number of births fell 3.5 percent to 17.23 million births.

China faces uphill battles against its own culture since the birth-control rules have existed for a long time, Quartz reported. Reproductive age for women is declining in the country. And the country has more men than women.

“The truth is, it isn’t that easy to shift a society’s psychological feelings about how many children to have, whether you’re trying to get people to make fewer babies or more of them,” according to Quartz.