A building security guard (R) braves a cold breeze as he stands guard in Beijing on January 22, 2016. AFP PHOTO / WANG ZHAO
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A state-run Chinese newspaper Friday excoriated population authorities for "superstition" after they blamed the inauspicious Year of the Sheep for births falling in 2015 despite a loosening of the one-child policy.Total births fell by 320,000 last year to 16.55 million, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed this week.At the time, the People's Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Communist Party, quoted officials predicting the change would add two million births a year in the future.In the event second child births rose by less than one million that year to 6.06 million, according to the NHFPC, and the rate of increase declined in 2015, when 6.52 million second children came into the world.
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