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The World

July 31, 1987

China's goal of holding its population under 1.2 billion by the turn of the century is doomed, and there may be 1.5 billion people in the country by the year 2025 if life expectancy increases. "It is a foregone conclusion that the population will exceed 1.2 billion by the year 2000," the official People's Daily reported. It added that if life expectancy in China increases from the current 67 or 68 years of age to the high 70s, there is a "great possibility" that the population will surge to 1.4 or 1.5 billion by 2025. Western observers said the report was an unusually open admission that China's strict policy of one child per couple is not working.

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