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China Birth Rate To Remain Low, Pledges President

BEIJING — China will maintain the strict family planning policy it imposed a generation ago to keep the birth rate low and the economy growing, President Hu Jintao said in remarks before new census data are released.But demographers wh…

BEIJING — China will maintain the strict family planning policy it imposed a generation ago to keep the birth rate low and the economy growing, President Hu Jintao said in remarks before new census data are released.

But demographers who have been advocating changes to the country’s so-called one-child policy responded to Hu’s speech with counterintuitive optimism, suggesting that Hu’s decision to publicly address family planning now meant there was fresh debate among the leadership about how best to manage it.

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