China formalises easing of one-child policy

Last updated 20:39 28/12/2013

Relevant offers

Asia

Chinese billionaire's son buys his dog two gold Apple Watches Wellington man Philip Blackwood to get Hurricanes present in Myanmar prison India heatwave kills hundreds China to extend military reach, build lighthouses in disputed waters Nepal moves to protect children from traffickers after quake Rest home fire in central China kills 38 Woman shoots herself in the head while trying to take a selfie Stuff.co.nz readers donate more than $56,000 for Nepal Malaysia finds 139 graves at 'cruel' jungle trafficking camps Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina slams starving migrants as 'mentally sick'

China on Saturday formally allowed couples to have a second child if one parent is an only child, the first major easing of the 3-decade-old restrictive birth policy.

First announced by the ruling Communist Party's leadership in November, the decision was officially sanctioned by the standing committee of China's top legislature, the National People's Congress, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Implemented around 1980, China's birth policy has limited most couples to only one child, but has allowed a second child if neither parent has siblings or if the first born to a rural couple is a girl.

Demographers and policy makers have estimated the easing would benefit some 15 million to 20 million Chinese parents - mostly in cities - and result in 1 million to 2 million extra births per year in the first few years, on top of the 16 million babies born annually in China. They say the easing is so incremental that the extra births are not expected to strain resources such as the health care and education.

China has credited the restrictive policy with managing its population growth and improving the economy, but critics say it is a violation of human rights.

China is the world's most populous country with 1.35 billion people.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content