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China Prepares To Ease One-Child Policy

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Imagine if the government told you how many children you could have. That is exactly what millions of couples across China are faced with thanks to China’s 30-year-old one child policy. However, that may be about to change.

Following a four day meeting of China’s party leaders in Bejing one key policy change was introduced that may allow certain couples to have more than one child.

Under China’s current family-planning policy most urban couples are limited to one child while rural families are allowed two children if the first child is a girl. The policy also allows for parents who are both only children to have two children.

The Chinese government has credited the current policy, which was introduced in 1980, with preventing hundreds of millions of births and raising countless families from poverty. The strict rules have also lead to illegal forced abortions and sterilizations and placed an unintended strain on China’s economic development. According to the China Development Research Foundation, the policy has also lead to social conflict, high administrative costs, and a long-term gender imbalance due to the illegal abortion and murder of female fetuses and infants.

The new policy may allow families where one parent was an only child to have two children.

Despite the coming policy changes, the majority of Chinese say they prefer to have smaller families, much like other countries that have seen an increase in incomes. A recent study conducted by Renmin University of China in Beijing says that 70% of rural families favor having only one child.