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Zhenzhen Zheng, Baochang Gu and Stuart Gietel-Basten

Fertility preferences in China are, without doubt, closely linked to the history of that country’s family planning policies. It is, however, incorrect to conclude that the policies – especially the famous “one-child policy” – is the sole causal factor in shaping fertility preferences. In this chapter we examine the recent history of fertility preferences in China, and explore how these have changed in relation to family planning policies as well as other economic and social factors. We conclude that sub-replacement fertility preferences may well be a feature of contemporary Chinese society and explore the implications for future changes in fertility.