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The article challenges the notion that below-replacement fertility and its local variation in China are primarily attributable to the government's birth planning policy. Data from the 2000 census and provincial statistical yearbooks are used to compare fertility in Jiangsu and Zhejiang, two of the most developed provinces in China, to examine the relationship between socioeconomic development and low fertility. The article demonstrates that although low fertility in China was achieved under the government's restrictive one-child policy, structural changes brought about by socioeconomic development and ideational shifts accompanying the new wave of globalization played a key role in China's fertility reduction.