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Schermafdruk 2018 08 08 10.38.15A government-issued postage stamp of a happy pig family—with three piglets—has raised expectations that China may loosen its family-planning policy yet again. China Post, the national postal service, on Tuesday unveiled its Year of the Pig stamp for 2019, prompting commentators on social media to speculate that the two-child policy is on its way out. There is precedent: The ditching of the one-child policy in 2016 was foreshadowed by a Year of the Monkey stamp showing two baby monkeys. Yi Fuxian, a scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison—and longtime critic of China’s birth policy—said the government is likely to go further this time. “It’s a clear sign that they are going to abandon all birth restrictions,” Mr. Yi said. The National Health Commission, which oversees family planning, and China Post didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Many economists believe that China is facing a demographic crisis that will leave it with fast-rising elder-care costs and too few working-age people to sustain growth. They blame the one-child policy implemented in 1980, a time when fears of overpopulation prevailed. The two-child policy . . . . read more

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