One-child policy, which had been a part of the social structure of the world’s most populated country, China, for the last 35 years, has been scrapped, Xinhua reported. Couples will now be allowed to have up to two children.
The decision was announced at the end of a four-day meeting of China’s ruling Communist Party, which convened this week to draw up the country’s next five-year plan for economic and social development.
There had been speculation for months that Beijing was preparing to abandon the highly controversial family planning rule, which was introduced by Communist leaders in 1980 amid fears of a catastrophic population explosion.
As the country’s population has aged, the Chinese government has taken the decision, following increased pressure to abolish the policy. Human rights groups have also criticized the law for fueling China’s skewed gender gap.
Shanghai Academy of Social Science demographer had said in July that the policy should have been abolished long ago. “The core issue is not about one child or two children. It’s about reproductive freedom. It’s about basic human rights. In the past, the government failed to grasp the essence of the issue,” Liang Zhongtang, the demographer, said.