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Where to Find China’s Provincial Family Planning Regulations

Earlier today China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported that the Communist Party of China (CPC) has issued a communique announcing that all married couples will be allowed to have two children. This decision brings an end to the decades-long “one-child policy.” Still, the new “two-child policy” will need to be adopted by provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government to become law. This blog post explains the legislative framework of China’s family planning law, and provides links to provincial regulations revised mostly in 2014.  These regulations allow more, but not all, married couples to have a second child based on a previous policy change the CPC announced in November 2013.

Legislative Framework of China’s Family Planning Law

At the Law Library of Congress, we are asked from time to time about sources of China’s “one-child law.” It would be a relatively easy question to answer if we were just talking about the national law: article 25 of the Chinese Constitution provides that the State “promotes family planning so that population growth may fit the plans for economic and social development.” In 2001, the nationally applicable Population and Family Planning Law was adopted by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.  The Law entered into effect on September 1, 2002. The Population and Family Planning Law provides that the State “advocates” that every couple should have only one child, but a second child may be allowed “where the requirements specified by laws and regulations are met.”

However, specific measures that really have an impact in practice, such as rules about who may have a second child, are not found in the Population and Family Planning Law, but are rather formulated at the local level by the people’s congresses of the provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government. (Population and Family Planning Law, art. 18.) In our Chinese law collection we mainly have national laws. So here arises the question: where can we find the provincial family planning regulations?

2014 Revisions to the Provincial Regulations

The official website of the national family planning authority, the National Health and Family Planning Commission, may be a good place to start your research. The website provides links to provincial family planning regulations (in Chinese). However, at least at the time this post was drafted, the links provided by the website do not take you to the most up-to-date versions of the regulations. They do not appear to reflect a national policy change, announced in 2013, allowing married couples to have a second child if one of the parents was an only child. The previous rules allowed married couples to have a second child only if both the husband and the wife were only children.

Following the announcement, among the 31 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities where the “one-child policy” applies, it seems that 30 have revised their family planning regulations or otherwise adopted the policy change, mostly in 2014. The exception is the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The most recent version of Xinjiang’s population and family planning regulations that we located was enacted in 2006.

There are some other sources that may contain a full list of the regulations, such as the laws and regulations database of the State Council Legislative Affairs Office, but these also appear to mainly have the old versions. Commercial subscription databases like Westlaw China and Chinalawinfo also have some of the new versions.

Links to the 2014 Revised Regulations

For ease of reference and access, below are links to the provincial regulations as revised following the 2013 policy change. Wherever the full-text regulations are not available, the links are to texts of the amendments or the provincial people’s congresses’ decisions on amending the relevant regulations. These regulations are located on official government websites, so they are all free but in the original Chinese language only. Special thanks to my former intern, Ms. Xiao Yu, who assisted me in this project earlier this year.

  1. Anhui: Anhui Provincial Population and Family Planning Regulations (Jan. 22, 2014) (full-text), available on the website of the Anhui Provincial People’s Congress.
  2. Beijing: Amendment to Beijing Municipal Population and Family Planning Regulations (Feb. 21, 2014), available on the website of the Beijing Municipal People’s Government.
  3. Chongqing: Chongqing Municipal Family Planning Regulations (Mar. 26, 2014) (full text), available on the website of the Chongqing Municipal People’s Congress.
  4. Fujian: Fujian Provincial Population and Family Planning Regulations  (Mar. 31, 2014) (full text), available on the website of the Fujian Provincial Health and Family Planning Commission.
  5. Gansu: Gansu Provincial Population and Family Planning Regulations (Mar. 26, 2014) (full text), available on the website of the Gansu Provincial People’s Government.
  6. Guangdong: Decision on Amending the Guangdong Provincial Population and Family Planning Regulations (Mar. 27, 2014), available on the website of the Guangdong Provincial Health and Family Planning Commission.
  7. Guangxi: Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Population and Family Planning Regulations (Mar. 1, 2014) (full text), available on the website of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region People’s Government.
  8. Guizhou: Guizhou Provincial Population and Family Planning Regulations (May 17, 2014) (full text), available on the website of the Guizhou Provincial People’s Congress.
  9. Hainan: Hainan Provincial Population and Family Planning Regulations (June 1, 2014) (full text), available on the website of the Hainan Provincial People’s Government.
  10. Hebei: Decision of the Standing Committee of Hebei Provincial People’s Congress on Amending Hebei Provincial Population and Family Planning Regulations (May 30, 2014), available on the website of the Hebei Provincial Health and Family Planning Commission.
  11. Heilongjiang: Heilongjiang Provincial Population and Family Planning Regulations (Apr. 22, 2014) (full text), available on the website of the Heilongjiang Provincial Health and Family Planning Commission.
  12. Henan: Henan Provincial Pupulation and Family Planning Regulations (May 29, 2014) (full text), available on the website of the Henan Provincial Commission of Health and Family Planning.
  13. Hubei: Hubei Provincial Population and Family Planning Regulations (Mar. 27, 2014) (full text), available on the website of the Hubei Provincial Health and Family Planning Commission.
  14. Hunan: Decision of the Standing Committee of Hunan Provincial People’s Congress on Amending Hunan Provincial Population and Family Planning Regulations (Jan. 23, 2015), available on the website of Hunan Provincial People’s Government .
  15. Inner Mongoliaļ¼šInner Mongolia Autonomous Region Population and Family Planning Regulations (Mar. 31, 2014) (full text), available on the website of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Health and Family Planning Commission.
  16. Jiangsu: Jiangsu Provincial Population and Family Planning Regulations (Mar. 28, 2014) (full text), available on the website of the Jiangsu Provincial People’s Congress.
  17. Jiangxi: Jiangxi Provincial Population and Family Planning Regulations (Jan. 16, 2014) (full text), available on the website of the Jiangxi Provincial Commission of Health and Family Planning.
  18. Jilin: Jilin Provincial Population and Family Planning Regulations (Mar. 28, 2014) (full text), available on the website of the Jilin Provincial Health and Family Planning Commission.
  19. Liaoning: Liaoning Provincial Population and Family Planning Regulations (Sept. 26, 2014) (full text), available on the website of Liaoning Provincial People’s Congress.
  20. Ningxia: Decision of the Standing Committee of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region People’s Congress on Amending Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region Population and Family Planning Regulations (Sept. 29, 2014), available on the website of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region People’s Congress.
  21. Shandong: Shandong Provincial Population and Family Planning Regulations (May 30, 2014) (full text), available on the website of Shandong Provincial Health and Family Planning Commission.
  22. Shanghai: Shanghai Municipal Population and Family Planning Regulations (Mar. 1, 2014) (full text), available on the website of Shanghai Municipal People’s Congress.
  23. Shanxi: Shanxi Provincial Population and Family Planning Regulations (May. 29, 2014) (full text), available on the website of the Shanxi Provincial People’s Congress.
  24. Sichuan: Sichuan Provincial Population and Family Planning Regulations (Mar. 20, 2014) (full text), available on the website of the Sichuan Provincial Health and Family Planning Commission.
  25. Tianjin: Tianjin Municipal Population and Family Planning Regulations (Feb. 14, 2014) (full text), available on the website of the Tianjin Municipal Population and Family Planning Committee.
  26. Zhejiang: Decision of the Standing Committee of Zhejiang Provincial People’s Congress on Amending Zhejiang Provincial Population and Family Planning Regulations (Jan. 17, 2014), available on the website of the Zhejiang Provincial People’s Government.

Other Documents Adopting the 2013 Policy Change

The following provinces and autonomous region adopted the policy change, but do not appear to have revised their family planning regulations so far:

  1. Qinghai: Resolution of the Standing Committee of Qinghai Provincial People’s Congress on Adjusting and Perfecting Birth Control Policies (Mar. 26, 2014), available on the Chinese website of China Daily.
  2. Shaanxi: Shaanxi Provincial Health and Family Planning Committee Guiding Opinions on Implementing the One Single Two Children Policy (Mar. 1, 2014), available on the website of the Luochuan County Population and Family Planning Bureau.
  3. Tibet: Tibet Autonomous Region Implementing Plan of the One Single Two Children Policy (Sept. 17, 2014), available on the website of the Tibet Autonomous Region People’s Government.
  4. Yunnan: Resolution on Adjusting and Perfecting Birth Control Policies (Mar. 28, 2014), available on the website of the Yunnan Provincial People’s Congress.

Based on experiences, there’s a risk that these links may rot over time. I’ve made sure to archive them so the information is still accessible in the future — at least until the provinces adopt the “two-child policy” by revising their regulations, which, according to what we saw with the previous change, may not happen until next year.

If you have any questions, please contact us through Ask A Librarian.

One Comment

  1. FJS Community Restoration and Outreach
    October 29, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Awesome Work!

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