Friday, 15 November 2013

China to Relax One Child Policy

China is to relax its policy of restricting most couples to having only a single child, state media say.

In future, families will be allowed two children if one parent is an only child, the Xinhua news agency said.

The proposal follows this week's meeting of a key decision-making body of the governing Communist Party.

Other reforms include the abolition of "re-education through labour" camps and moves to boost the role of the private sector in the economy.

Though the scale of the Chinese leadership's new social and economic reforms are vast, affecting millions across China, none of these changes should come as a shock. Many of these changes have been discussed in the Chinese state media in the past, and many have been test-driven on a smaller scale in different parts of the country.

For example, in some Chinese cities for the past few years, couples who are both single children have been allowed the option of having a second child. The latest change will give couples the option of having two children if just one of the parents is an only child.

Similarly, Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed to abolish the much-hated "re-education through labour" system when he first came to power. Quietly, officials have been winding down the system over the past few months.

The Communist government is not prone to making rash decisions. In order to gain the consensus it needs to carry out its plans at the local level, officials need to announce them well ahead of time. Surprises aren't popular in China, it seems.

Source: BBC

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