BEIJING (AP) - President Hu Jintao says China will maintain a one-child policy to keep the birth rate low, in remarks before the nation's latest census is released.
A Xinhua News Agency report on the government's website Wednesday said Hu told top leaders that strict birth limits should be maintained to ensure economic growth in the developing country with more than 1.3 billion people.
The one-child policy has been in place a generation. China's latest census is due to be released Thursday.
Government statistics showed China recorded 12.13 births per thousand people in 2009. That is comparable to the United Kingdom, Australia and Denmark. It is above the very low birth rates in countries like Japan and Italy.