Tauno Tohk / CC BY 2.0

Under the pressure of a rapidly aging workforce, China’s leaders have raised the limit on the number of children that married couples are legally permitted to have from one to two.

The New York Times reports:

The announcement came after the party’s Central Committee concluded a four-day meeting in a heavily guarded hotel in western Beijing where the committee approved proposals for China’s next five-year development plan, which starts next year.

“Improve the demographic development strategy,” said the official communiqué, or summary, of the meeting issued through the Xinhua news agency. “Comprehensively implement a policy that couples can have two children, actively taking steps to counter the aging of the population.”

The decision to replace the one-child policy with a “two child” one was among the few substantial changes announced by the party meeting. A fuller summary of the five-year development plan is likely to be released in several days, and the full document will be issued only next year.

The government has already eased some restrictions in the one-child policy, and a party conference in 2013 approved allowing couples to have two children when one of the spouses was an only child. But many eligible couples failed to take up the chance to have a second child, citing the expense and pressures of raising children in a highly competitive society.

Read more here.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.


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