CHINA decided to end its one-child policy, Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday October 29.
The policy honoured by the country for three decades will now allow couples to have two children. Xinhua said: “To promote a balanced growth of population, China will continue to uphold the basic national policy of population control and improve its strategy on population development, China will fully implement the policy of ‘one couple, two children’ in a proactive response to the issue of an aging population.”
In an attempt to control China’s population growth, the country issued the one-child policy in 1979. The current population is more than 1.3 billion people. Four million births are estimated to have been prevented by the policy since it began.
Loss of employment, various punishments and fines were given to couples that did not abide by the policy. Some couples were forced to have abortions.
The Communist Party relaxed the policy two years ago for couples in which one of the pair was an only child, and families in rural areas were allowed to have two children if the first child was a girl.
Despite the new policy, correspondents say couples may still abide by the one-child policy.