China to end one-child pol­icy

Daily Trust - - INTERNATIONAL -

China has de­cided to end its decades-long onechild pol­icy, Xin­hua news agency re­ports.

All cou­ples will now be al­lowed to have two chil­dren, the state-run news agency said, cit­ing a state­ment from the Com­mu­nist Party.

The con­tro­ver­sial pol­icy was in­tro­duced na­tion­ally in 1979, to re­duce the coun­try’s birth rate and slow the pop­u­la­tion growth rate.

How­ever, con­cerns at China’s ageing pop­u­la­tion led to pres­sure for change.

The one-child pol­icy is es­ti­mated to have pre­vented about 400m births since it be­gan.

Cou­ples who vi­o­lated the pol­icy faced a va­ri­ety of pun­ish­ments, from fines and the loss of em­ploy­ment to forced abor­tions.

Over time, the pol­icy was re­laxed in some prov­inces, as de­mog­ra­phers and so­ci­ol­o­gists raised con­cerns about ris­ing so­cial costs and fall­ing worker num­bers.

The Com­mu­nist Party be­gan for­mally re­lax­ing na­tional rules two years ago, al­low­ing cou­ples in which at least one of the pair is an only child to have a sec­ond child.

Cur­rently about 30% of China’s pop­u­la­tion is over the age of 50.

Cor­re­spon­dents say that de­spite the re­lax­ation of the rules, many cou­ples may still opt to only have one child, as one-child fam­i­lies have be­come the so­cial norm.

Chi­nese cou­ples will now be al­lowed to have two chil­dren

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