BEIJING — China’s Communist Party brought to an end the decades-old “one child” policy on Thursday, when leaders announced that all married couples would be allowed to have two children in a bid to reverse the rapid aging of the labor force.
The announcement came after the party’s Central Committee concluded a four-day meeting in a heavily guarded hotel in western Beijing where the committee approved proposals for China’s next five-year development plan, which starts next year.
“Improve the demographic development strategy,” said the official communiqué, or summary, of the meeting issued through the Xinhua news agency. “Comprehensively implement a policy that couples can have two children, actively taking steps to counter the aging of the population.”
The decision to replace the one-child policy with a “two child” one was among the few substantial changes announced by the party meeting. A fuller summary of the five-year development plan is likely to be released in several days, and the full document will be issued only next year.