China scraps one child policy, to allow two children for all couples


Beijing: China is set to allow all couples to have two children, abandoning its decades-long one-child policy, the Communist Party of China (CPC) announced after a key meeting on Thursday.

The change of policy is intended to balance population development and address the challenge of an ageing population, according to a communique issued after the fifth plenary session of the 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee held from Monday to Thursday.

However, the proposal must be approved by the top legislature before it is enacted, Xinhua news agency reported.

China’s family planning policy was first introduced in the late 1970s to rein in the surging population by limiting most urban couples to one child and most rural couples to two children, if the first child born was a girl.

The policy was later relaxed by allowing any couple to have a second child if they both were the only children of their parents.

The one-child policy was further relaxed in November 2013 after the third plenary of the CPC Central Committee stipulated that couples be allowed to have two children if one of them is the only child.

The family planning policy, known as the one-child policy in the West, was a population control policy of the People’s Republic of China. The term ‘one-child’ was inexact as the policy allowed many exceptions and ethnic minorities in China were exempt.

(With inputs from IANS)