BEIJING, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- China will allow all couples to have two children, abandoning its decades-long one-child policy, the Communist Party of China (CPC) announced after a key meeting on Thursday.
The change of policy is intended to balance population development and address the challenge of an ageing population, according to a communique issued after the Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee held from Monday to Thursday.
The proposal must be approved by the top legislature before it is enacted.
China's family planning policy was first introduced in the late 1970s to rein in the surging population by limiting most urban couples to one child and most rural couples to two children, if the first child born was a girl. The policy was later relaxed to say that any parents could have a second child if they were both only children.
The one-child policy was further loosened in November 2013 after the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, with its current form stipulating that couples are allowed to have two children if one of them is an only child.