China has a history of 5000 years and is the most populous country in the world. In 1949, China had a population of 540 million (National Bureau of Statistics of China, 2013). According to the 1953 census, the population was 600 million. By the end of the 1960s, it surpassed 800 million. In the middle of the 1970s, it reached 900 million (Tian, 2009, p. 87). During this period of time, the Chinese government realized the necessity for birth control, but it had not adopted any national family planning policy. Within only 20 years, the Chinese population jumped from 600 million to 900 million, highlighting the urgency for population control. Therefore, from the 1970s, based on the principle that population reproduction should be in line with material reproduction, family planning policy was introduced and went through a series of modifications. In 1982, ‘practising family planning, controlling population, and improving population quality’ was adopted as a basic national policy, and also was clearly stipulated in the Constitution of the PRC. Family planning policy thus played an important role in the strategy for Chinese socioeconomic development. However, despite the coordinated efforts of related governmental bodies to implement it, the Chinese population reached 1.2 billion in 1995, and surpassed 1.3 billion by the 2010 sixth census, due to a large population base in 1949 and the three baby booms during 1949-1958, 1962-1975, and 1986-2000 (Ma, 1989). Concerning China’s population issue and family planning policy, a great deal of bias abroad exists, where most people in other countries view China as having a one-child policy (Kaufman, Zhang, Qiao, & Zhang, 1989; Wang, 1999). A two-child policy was instituted in 2015. China’s family planning policy and its implementation before 2015 had received considerable criticism and accusations from Western countries, particularly from religious groups, politicians, and human rights organizations. In fact, China’s family planning policy before 2015 was not a one-child policy, but a policy which could be adjusted according to urban and rural areas, ethnic groups, and population density, while providing various welfare and reproductive services to the families concerned. As the structure of the Chinese population continued to age, and support for older Chinese became a problem, China has modified and improved the family planning policy, gradually lessening its limitations and requirements in regard to

having a second child. When the universal two-child policy was passed in 2015, it stated that all couples in the country would be allowed to have two children. Procreation has an impact on population size, quality, and structure, and population issues affect the development of family, society, and the economy. To present a general picture of China’s population and procreation, this chapter will show how China’s family planning policy evolved, and report trends in childbearing-age women’s reproductive behaviour, reproductive health care, and services after the founding of the PRC.