China to Relax Rules on One-Child Policy


In this May 29, 2013 photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, takes part in a children's activity in Beijing, China. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Li Xueren)

Beijing, China - The Chinese government says it will relax rules limiting many couples to a single child. It's the first substantial change to the unpopular policy in nearly three decades, but it's unclear when it will take effect. Details are expected when government offices roll out implementation plans. The reforms will allow families to have two children if one of the parents is an only child. Previously both parents had to be an only child to qualify for the exemption. The last major change to the policy was in 1984, when China's government allowed rural couples to have two children if their first-born child was a girl. The Chinese government credits the one-child policy with preventing hundreds of millions of births and helping lift countless families out of poverty.

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