China to end one-child policy and allow two
China has decided to end its decades-long one-child policy, the state-run Xinhua news agency reports.
Couples will be permitted to have two children, it said, citing a statement from the Communist Party.
The controversial policy was introduced nationally in 1979, to slow the population growth rate.
It is estimated to have prevented about 400 million births. However problems at the ageing population in China led to pressure for change.
Couples who offended the one-child policy faced various punishments, to forced abortions from fines as well as the loss in employment.
Over time, the policy has been relaxed in certain states, as demographers and sociologists raised concerns about increasing social costs and decreasing worker amounts.