China has scrapped its notorious one-child policy, allowing couples to have two children for the first time in more than three decades, official media reported on Thursday.
“China abandons one-child policy,” Xinhua, China’s official news agency, announced on Twitter.
For months there has been speculation 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.
The government credits it with preventing 400 million births, but the human cost has been immense, with forced sterilisations and abortions, infanticide, and a dramatic gender imbalance that means millions of men will never find female partners.
n 2012 – in one of the most shocking recent cases of human rights abuses related to the policy – a 23-year-old woman from Shaanxi province in the north-west was abducted by family planning officials and forced to have an abortion seven months into the pregnancy.
Opponents say the policy has also created a demographic “timebomb”, with China’s 1.3 billion-strong population ageing rapidly, and the country’s labour pool shrinking. The UN estimates that by 2050 China will have nearly 440 million over-60s. Meanwhile, the working-age population – those aged between 15 and 59 – fell by 3.71 million last year, a trend that is expected to continue.
News that the one-child policy has been scrapped comes three months after one Chinese newspaper predicted the policy would be phased out by the end of this year. At the time those reports were denied by the Chinese government.
In recent years, there has been a gradual relaxation of China’s family planning laws, which already permitted ethnic minority families and rural couples whose firstborn was a girl to have more than one child.
more at source
Better learn Mandarin..
Face the future.. Gamecenter ID: nikkom_nl (oh no he didn't!!)