| 2 December 2023, Saturday |

China to launch projects in 20 more cities to build new-era marriage culture

In an effort to foster a supportive environment for marriage and childbearing, China has announced plans to initiate pilot projects in 20 additional cities. These projects aim to cultivate a modern culture around marriage and childbearing, promoting a social atmosphere that is conducive to having children. The China Family Planning Association will be responsible for launching these projects, with the timing of their announcement coinciding with the approaching International Day of Families on Monday. The report, published by the Global Times on Sunday, provides details of this initiative.
According to association officials, these pilot projects would focus on tasks including prompting marrying and having children at an appropriate age, encouraging parents to share child-rearing responsibilities and curbing high prices and other outdated customs, the Global Times reported.
The cities where the projects would be launched include Guangzhou and Handan in North China’s Hebei Province.
Yao Ying, vice president of the association, said that the pilot regions are expected to take innovative and proactive measures “to help foster childbearing-friendly atmospheres and contribute to advancing Chinese modernisation with the support from the high-quality development of the population.”

The projects come amid a flurry of measures Chinese provinces are rolling out to spur people to have children, including tax incentives, housing subsidies, and free or subsidised education for having a third child.

Speaking to the Global Times, independent demographer He Yafu said that there has been a decline in births since 2017 as well as a falling marriage rate. “The society needs to guide young people more on the concept of marriage and childbirth, and encourage young people to get married and have children,” Yafu added.

Last year, the China Family Planning Association launched a pilot project for a new marriage and childbirth construction culture in 20 cities, including Beijing.

And in February this year, the government unveiled its key policy document, vowing to address exorbitant “bride prices”, and extravagant wedding ceremonies as part of efforts to strengthen the construction of public cultural-ethical standards in China’s rural areas.

Subsequently, many provinces, cities and counties responded to the call to advocate new-era marriage culture and investigate and deal with related issues.

The report further said that as part of efforts to build this culture and encourage childbearing, civil affairs agencies in several cities announced that they would accept marriage registrations on May 20.

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