New birth policy goes into force in E China province

( Xinhua ) Updated: 2014-01-17 16:46:53

HANGZHOU - East China's Zhejiang province announced a new birth policy on Friday allowing couples to have two children if one of them is an only child, making it the first Chinese province to ease the country's decades-long family planning policy.

The Standing Committee of Zhejiang Provincial People's Congress has approved an amendment to the Zhejiang Provincial Population and Family Planning Regulations. The new policy went into force on Friday, according to the announcement.

China's family planning policy was first introduced in the late 1970s to rein in population growth by limiting most urban couples to one child and most rural couples to two, if the first child was a girl.

The policy was relaxed and the previous version stipulated that both parents must be only children if they are to have a second child.

China formally allows more couples to have second child

The bi-monthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) on December 28 passed a resolution on family planning, entrusting provincial congresses and their standing committees to make their own calls on implementation.

The decision to relax the birth policy was first approved at the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee held from Nov 9 to 12, 2013 in Beijing.

Beijing, Central China's Hubei province, and South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region are reportedly expected to carry out the policy as early as March.

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