China To End One-Child Policy

The Central Committee approved a plan Thursday that would allow all couples to have two children, according to the state-run news agency.

China’s Communist Party is on its way to lifting its three-decade-old one-child policy, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency. The decision came as President Xi Jinping unveiled an economic plan that would lead the country to “slower, more balanced growth,” Bloomberg reported Thursday.

Under the plan approved by the Central Committee, all couples in the country would be allowed to have two children.

The policy change is expected to “balance population development” as well as “address the challenge of an aging population,” according to Xinhua News.

Before being enacted the new policy must first be approved by the top legislature.

The decision was made during the Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee that was held over four days from Monday to Thursday.

The one-child policy was initially implemented in the late 1970s as a way to control population growth. According to Xinhua News, the policy limited urban couples to one child and allowed for rural couples to have two. The policy was later eased to allow for a second child only if the first child was born a girl.

The party had been taking steps to ease the family planning policy in recent years. In November 2013, following the Third Plenary Session, couples, where one is an only child, were allowed to have a second child.

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