China reverses one-child policy
The People's Republic of China has decided to reverse it's famous one-child policy that was implemented to stem the rapid growth of the Chinese population over three years ago.
The announcement that couples will be allowed to have two children was made today after the conclusion of a four-day meeting held by China's ruling Communist Party to discuss the country's 5-year plan which starts 2016.
China's controversial one-child policy was introduced nationally in 1979 and is estimated to have prevented about 400 million births.
Couples who breached the policy faced punishments like fines, loss of employment and forced abortions.
However, the governments were forced over the years to make adjustments to this rule as many complained of falling worker numbers in China, one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
Couples in rural areas were eventually allowed to have two children if the first was a girl.
Couples in which at least one partner is an only child were also permitted to have a second.
Advocates who opposed the one-child policy complained that the law led to "forced abortions, female infanticide, and the under-reporting of female births" the BBC reports.
The one-child policy was just one of the key issued addressed when the Communist Party met recently to discuss key development issues.
According to an official summary, over the next five years, China will also seek to promote "economic strength, technological strength, national defence strength [and] the international influence of [the country] on a big stage. "