China to allow all couples to have 3 kids, in effort to cope with aging society

Category: Top Stories


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. ease / iz / (v.) – to make something less unpleasant, severe, extreme, etc.

    Many people are hoping that the new laws will help ease traffic in the city.

  2. strain / streɪn / (n.) – something that causes difficulty or harm to a person or another thing

    The distance has put a strain on the couple’s relationship.

  3. restrain / rɪˈstreɪn / (v.) – to prevent something from growing, increasing, or becoming more powerful

    The new mayor is trying to restrain crime, but so far the crime rate hasn’t dropped.

  4. prosperous / ˈprɒs pər əs / (adj.) – successful and making a lot of money

    My uncle is a prosperous businessman.

  5. conducive / kənˈdu sɪv / (adj.) – having the right conditions to make something easy or possible to happen or exist

    A noisy environment isn’t conducive to learning.


Read the text below.

China’s ruling Communist Party said May 31 it will ease birth limits to allow all couples to have three children instead of two in hopes of slowing the rapid aging of its population, which is adding to strains on the economy and society.

The ruling party has enforced birth limits since 1980 to restrain population growth but worries the share of working-age people is falling too fast while the share aged 65 and over is rising. That threatens to disrupt plans to turn China into a prosperous consumer society and global technology leader.

A ruling party meeting led by President Xi Jinping decided to introduce “measures to actively deal with the aging population,” the official Xinhua News Agency said. It said leaders agreed “implementing the policy (where) one couple can have three children and supporting measures are conducive to improving China’s population structure.”

Leaders also agreed China needs to raise its retirement age to keep more people in the workforce and improve pension and health services for the elderly, the state news agency said. (AP)

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • China’s ruling Communist Party said it will ease birth limits to allow all couples to have three children instead of two. Do you agree that increasing the limit to three will help improve the economy? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, how can couples be encouraged to have more children (ex. free childcare, tax benefits)? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • In your opinion, should the government have control over how many children a family can have? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • China is worried about the rapid aging of its population. Does your country have a similar problem? If so, what actions is the government taking to address it? Why? Discuss.